At that time, the young man who left Leverkusen for 30 million euros, the highest transfer fee ever for an Asian player, became the “face of Tottenham.” The story after this is as we know it. Son Heung-min, with his back number 7, opened a new era for Tottenham. He scored 148 goals and 80 assists in 377 games. It is the story of Son Heung-min, the “Captain of Tottenham.”
Tottenham said on its official SNS on the 13th (Korea Standard Time), ‘Today, 2015. Son Heung-min made his debut in the fifth round of the English Premier League (EPL) in the 2015-2016 season against Sunderland with a comment saying, “Son Heung-min made his debut in the Premier League.” Son Heung-min made his debut in the EPL, playing 62 minutes at the time. Although he didn’t score, it was a good start. At that time, Tottenham won 1-0 with Ryan Mason’s winning goal. Fans left complimentary comments on the post, saying, “The day Tottenham won the lottery,” “He is our club’s tactic,” “Our proud captain,” and “one of the best wingers in history.”
Son Heung-min, who had some ups and downs in the 2015-2016 season, the first season, has been active since the 2016-2017 season. Son Heung-min, who established the DESK line with Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, played a key role in Tottenham’s attack with his unique fast speed and strong shooting. From the 2016-2017 season to the last season, he scored double-digit points for seven consecutive seasons. Only 11 players have scored more than 10 goals in seven consecutive seasons since the EPL was launched in 1992. It is a record that only has legends such as Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Sergio Aguero and Thierry Henry. Son Heung-min even wrote history for the 2021-2022 season. With 23 goals, he became the first Asian player to become the top scorer. It was such a surprising event that former Gangwon CEO Lee Young-pyo said, “It was a historical event as if mankind had stepped on the moon.”
With Son Heung-min’s performance, Tottenham moved away from small and medium-sized clubs and became one of the big clubs. Tottenham finished second in the league in the 2016-2017 season and advanced to the European Champions League final for the first time in the club’s history in the 2018-2019 season. Tottenham has now grown into a club at a level that can steadily aim to participate in the European Champions League in the EPL.
Son Heung-min has established himself as a representative of Tottenham in recognition of his performance. Son Heung-min was appointed as Tottenham captain, who became vacant after Lloris and Kane left. Madison and Christian Romero became new vice captains. Son Heung-min became the second Korean EPL captain in history. Prior to Son Heung-min, Park Ji-sung, Jeonbuk Hyundai Technical Director, was the first Korean to be appointed as an official captain in the EPL. Director Park officially became the captain of the Queens Park Rangers (QPR), who left Manchester United and moved to the club, in the 2012-2013 season. After 11 years, the Korean Captain was born.
Son Heung-min said, “I’m really honored to be the captain of this huge team. It’s a big surprise and a very proud moment. I’ve already told all the players that they have to feel responsible for being the captain, on and off the field. A new season is coming, and now it’s a new beginning. “I will give everything for this uniform and captain’s armband,” he said, expressing his feelings and determination as the captain.
Coach Enze Postecoglou also said, “Son Heung-min has already shown excellent leadership on and off the field. That’s why it was a very ideal choice for our team’s captain. Everyone knows that Son Heung-min is in the world class, and he is already greatly respected in the locker room. Son Heung-min hangs out with all the groups in the team. “It’s not just because he’s popular, but because Son Heung-min has achieved a lot as captain of Tottenham and the Korean national team,” he explained.
Coach Postecoglou’s appointment as captain of Son Heung-min has already been predicted to some extent from the preseason. Postecoglou acknowledged Son’s leadership early on. “I’m looking forward to working with Son Heung-min,” he said. “I think he’s a player who shows the qualities of a true leader.” “I think he’s the passageway for the entire team. It’s mixed in every group, but I don’t think it’s just because it’s popular. He has a certain position because of what he has been doing in the game, he said. “It’s good to see his influence on the group, and I’m not surprised he’s a big influence because I know he was the leader and icon of his country. He has a lot of respect among the players,” he said.
At a pre-opening press conference held on the 11th, coach Postecoglou also said, “I’ve already decided on the appointment of the captain, but I can’t tell you now. The selection will take place tomorrow, and we have watched how the players will react after the appointment of the captain,” he said. In the end, the main character was Son Heung-min.
He showed off his captaincy early on. Son Heung-min came up with a special idea in the opening game against Brentford. In the first game of Son Heung-min’s captain’s armband, Tottenham made a scrum in front of the away seat where Tottenham fans, not the center, are usually located before the kickoff. The players started the game after receiving the energy from the fans. This came from Son Heung-min’s idea. Deputy captain James Madison said on Football London, “Last night, Son Heung-min sent a message that he had an idea. The idea was to go to the stands instead of the middle of the stadium. It was nice to show that we were all together. “The fans would have appreciated our scrum,” he said.
Son Heung-min also said, “It was the first game of the season. Originally, it was done in the center of the stadium, and I thought one of the very important parts of this season was the fans. “I suggested to the players to go in front of the fans to show this feeling and to show themselves as one,” he said adding, “The players thought well and accepted it.” “It’s not just my will, but it’s something that the players have to agree to,” he explained. Although it did not lead to victory, he was a captain as much as he thought of his fans and the team.