Finally, under-appreciated Son Heung-min is generating headlines of his own
Think of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side, which three players immediately spring to mind?
No need to answer that (at least not aloud); we probably already know what you’d say anyway…
Firstly, the obvious choice: Harry Kane. He’s spearheaded their attack these last few years; he’s bagged most of the goals. Easy. Then, it’s probably Dele Alli, isn’t it? Still only 22 and building steadily on that ridiculously smooth transition he made to Premier League football. Yep. Has to be included. And at number three, you’re probably going with clever, little Christian Eriksen, with his delightful free-kicks and sharp eye for a killer pass. Quite rightly, he’s regarded as one of the finest playmakers in the game at this moment in time.
Kane, Alli, Eriksen. Done. Final answer.
For many reasons - some mentioned above; some not - it’s completely understandable that this trio generate the most headlines and are the most talked-about players in Spurs’ current squad. But while all are worthy of such praise, the 6-2 mauling of Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon - in which all three scored - was a reminder that one of their teammates also deserves to be spoken about in such glowing terms.
Son Heung-min was a key factor in ruthlessly exposing Marco Silva’s side’s defensive frailties. He was on hand to capitalise on the mix-up between Kurt Zouma and Jordan Pickford to score their first of the game and coolly added his second just after the hour-mark. Alli’s goal came after Pickford had parried Son's shot and Kane was able to score his second by turning home his cross.
Undeniably, it was a man of the match performance from the South Korean. Not just for his key contributions to the game, but also for his willingness to run his arse off for the cause on the Goodison turf - even when the game seemed all but won, even with a congested spell of energy-sapping fixtures looming.
This, though, as many Spurs fans who have watched him regularly over the last 18 months will testify, was far from a one-off. Son has been exceptionally consistent over that time frame, pitching in with 24 goals. In the 112 Premier League appearances he’s made for the club since joining from Bayer Leverkusen, he’s been involved in 50 goals, scoring 35, assisting 15. His blend of searing pace, lung-busting stamina and an increasingly composed head in the final third have made him a very important element of Pochettino’s side.
And yet for all this, there’s still a sense on these shores that he’s not appreciated as much as he should be. “He has to be in more of the top stories in newspapers," his countryman, Ki Sung-yueng said back in the summer. "He scores very important goals for Spurs and the consistency is not easy for every player."
At least on this occasion, Son is one of the top stories. If he continues to operate at such a high level, it’s hard to envisage this not becoming a recurring theme.