‘Why SON, not a frontline striker…’ Legendary tributes→And yet again, the best 11 ‘sweeps’ of EPL transfers
Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham) has been named to the English Premier League’s (EPL) Team of the Week after a stellar performance against Fulham with one goal and one assist. It’s the third time this season that Son has been honored.
The English Premier League (EPL) announced on its official website on Friday (July 25) the 11 players who performed the best in the ninth round of the 2023-24 EPL season, selected by position.
In the Team of the Week, which was handpicked by living England legend Alan Shearer, Son Heung-min was proudly named to the top 11. Shearer said of Son, “He’s been relishing his role as captain this season. He added another great goal to his tally. With this goal, Heung-min already has seven goals this season (Relishing his role as captain this season. He added another great strike to add to his collection, making it seven goals already for the campaign)”.
However, his position was not as a frontline striker or a frontline flanker, but as a second striker. This is unusual as the previous two selections had Son Heung-min as one of the frontline strikers. Heung-min has been named to the EPL’s official Team of the Week twice before, in the fourth round (against Burnley) and sixth round (against Arsenal). This time, however, it wasn’t in a completely defensive position, as Son lined up on the left flank midfield in a 3-4-3 formation. It’s more of a flanking attacking midfielder supporting the upfront strikers.
Alongside Son was Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) in the upfront striker position. Olin Watkins (Aston Villa) and Chris Wood (Nottingham) were selected on either flank. In the second line, Son Heung-min was joined by James Maddison (Tottenham), Douglas Lewis (Aston Villa), and Jacob Murphy (Newcastle) as Team of the Week honorees. The defensive line was made up of Azri Konsa (Aston Villa), John Stones (Man City), and Kieran Trippier (Newcastle). The best goalkeeper in round nine was Nick Pope (Newcastle).
Son Heung-min was also honored in other media outlets’ Top 11 of the week. In Sofa Score’s EPL Team of the Week, Heung-min was one of three frontline forwards, and Futbol.com also named him one of the top 11 players in Round 9, alongside Maddison. The BBC, on the other hand, did not include Son in their team of the week.
After the Fulham game, Liverpool legend and current Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said of Son, “We are looking at one of the best players in the history of the EPL. He’s a very, very good player,” he said. Carragher is a Liverpool legend, having played 737 games for the club and 38 caps for England. The tribute is especially sweet coming from a man who has defended against some of the world’s best attackers.
Son Heung-min scored a goal and provided an assist in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 home win over Fulham in the ninth round of the English Premier League at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England, on April 24. With the win, Tottenham maintained its lead at the top of the league with seven wins and two draws (23 points) and an unbeaten run of nine matches since the start of the season. They sit atop the table, ahead of Manchester City and Arsenal (both on 21 points), who have been in strong title contention this season.
Son Heung-min came out flying with the captain’s armband against Fulham. In the first half, the South Korean scored a spectacular right-footed curling shot to put Fulham in front. It was his seventh league goal and 110th Premier League goal. The goal moved Son into 26th place on the EPL’s all-time goals list, ahead of Ryan Giggs, the Welsh legend who played alongside Park Ji-Sung at Manchester United.
Son opened the scoring at Fulham in the 36th minute with the teams tied 0-0. On a counter-attack following an interception, Heung-min slipped a pass into the box from the left. Heung-min calmly fired a right-footed curling shot from the front of the penalty arc that rattled the opposition goal. For a moment, two defenders tried to get in his way, but he sensibly slowed down his shot, peeled off one defender, and accurately kicked it into the corner of the goal. He knew where the goal was beforehand, so he didn’t even have to look at the goal to get a shot off. It was a moment where Son’s long-range finishing ability really shone through. 먹튀검증
He added an assist in the ninth minute of the second half to seal the win. Tottenham pressed and rattled their defense. Son Heung-min ran at Fulham goalkeeper Leno and tried to pressure him. In a split second, all of the Tottenham forwards joined in on the pressure, and Leno tried to pass to the side, but once again, the pressure forced him to misplace the pass. Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stole the ball and played it to Son Heung-min. Heung-min calmly slid the ball to James Maddison, who cut in from the side, and Maddison calmly finished to make it 2-0. The Tottenham goal was a collaboration between Son and Maddison. It was also Son’s first assist of the season.
Son played 82 minutes before being substituted off in the 37th minute of the second half. According to European soccer statistics provider Fourscore.com, Heung-min attempted three shots, two of which were on target, and scored one goal. He also had an 83% passing success rate, four key passes, three dribble breaks, and one tackle. After the game, Fúscore.com gave Son an 8.9 rating, the highest for both teams, while another statistical source, Footmob, gave him an 8.7 rating. British soccer publication 90MIN also gave Son a top rating of 9, stating that “Heung-min is enjoying his time in the center of the park.”
Son Heung-min was named to the Team of the Week for the first time this season after his performance against Burnley on September 2 (Round 4). Heung-min was at his best in September, and the Burnley game was the start of it. He scored a hat-trick against Burnley. He scored the equalizer in the 16th minute of the fourth-round tie against Burnley after his team trailed 0-1. He then completed his hat trick in the 18th minute of the second half when Tottenham took a 3-1 lead, and then completed his hat trick in the 21st minute of the second half. It was the fourth time Son has recorded a hat trick in the EPL. He scored his first EPL hat-trick in September 2020 with a four-goal performance against Southampton, followed by hat-tricks against Aston Villa in April 2022 and Leicester City in September. With Holland’s and Ferguson’s hat tricks against Fulham and Newcastle, respectively, on the same day local time, Son became just the second player in EPL history to have three players score hat tricks on the same day. This was 28 years after Robbie Fowler, Alan Shearer, and Tony Yeboah did it on September 23, 1995. In the end, the EPL’s secretariat also named Son Heung-min Team of the Week. Once again, Son lined up up front alongside Elling Holland (Man City) and Ferguson in a 4-3-3 formation. The midfield included Maddison once again. Declan Rice (Arsenal), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham), and Billy Gilmour (Brighton) were selected in the midfield, while Joe Gomes (Liverpool), Willie Boly, and Joe Worrall (Nottingham) made up the back three. Goalkeeper was Jordan Pickford (Everton).
It was against Arsenal that Son Heung-min was named to the EPL’s official Team of the Week for the second time this season. Against the Gunners in Round 6, Son played as a frontline striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation instead of a flanker. Heung-min scored the equalizer in the 42nd minute with the team trailing 1-0. Maddison beat a defender on the left flank and cut inside the penalty box before finding Son in the center of the box. The South Korean rattled the Arsenal net with a left-footed shot that beat the Arsenal defense. It was Son’s fourth league goal and sixth North London derby goal. Son then scored the equalizer in the 10th minute of the second half, shortly after conceding. Maddison stole the ball from Jorginho and dribbled in before crossing for Son, who had cut in from the right. Son then took on the keeper and calmly finished to silence the Arsenal home fans.
Against Arsenal, Son had 27 touches of the ball, an 82% pass completion rate (14 of 17), 1 key pass, and 1 cross (1 attempt) according to soccer statistician Couch Score. After the game against Arsenal, the media was quick to praise Son Heung-min. After arguing that “Son’s performance shouldn’t be judged solely on goals,” Sky Sports said, “He finished off two crucial chances with goals. More importantly, he had a 93% passing accuracy. He also made two key passes. He was a leader in creating chances against an organized Arsenal side. Heung-min had a good showing in the recent North London derby, and this was no different. “It’s almost as if he enjoys playing against Arsenal,” he said. The EPL office also named Son Heung-min a member of the Team of the Week. Heung-min played up front in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Shearer, who voted for Son, said of Son, “The move to the first goal was amazing. The movement for his first goal was sensational, and he showed great composure for his second,” Shearer said, giving him a thumbs-up. Son’s Tottenham teammate, Yves Bissouma, also made the Best 11 in the central midfield category. Phil Foden (Manchester City), Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Abdoulaye Doucoure (Everton), Bissouma, Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Jonny Evans (Manchester United), James Tarkowski (Everton), Sven Boatman (Newcastle), and Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa) were also honored in the Round 6 Team of the Week.
Meanwhile, Son Heung-min continues to dominate the goal-scoring race. He has scored seven goals in nine league appearances this season. He is just two goals behind Manchester City’s “monster striker” Elling Holland (nine). Son is tied with Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah for the league’s top scorer with 23 goals in the 2021-2022 season. He was the first Asian to lead the EPL in goals.