Antonio Conte has no worries over Son Heung-min’s goalless form and is surprised by questions over South Korean star


ANTONIO CONTE has no worries over the form of Son Heung-min – and says it is a mark of how well things are going at Tottenham that any concerns are being raised at all.

Son shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Liverpool’s Mo Salah last term after blasting 23 goals.

Antonio Conte's Tottenham have taken seven points from nine so far this season

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Antonio Conte’s Tottenham have taken seven points from nine so far this seasonCredit: Getty
Son Heung-min was the Premier League's joint-top scorer last season

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Son Heung-min was the Premier League’s joint-top scorer last seasonCredit: GETTY

But the South Korean is yet to get off the mark this term and has been relatively quiet, for his sky-high standards, in Spurs’ opening three games of the season.

He hit the post against Wolves last Saturday but was taken off in the 76th minute for Richarlison.

Spurs won that game thanks to a Harry Kane header and have taken seven points from a possible nine so far going into Sunday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

And Conte pointed to Kane as an example of how form is temporary and class is permanent, after the England captain went through a much-longer barren spell in the first half of last term.

The Tottenham boss said: “Sonny is enjoying his football every day. 

“To think he is enjoying it more or less just because of one goal, it is ridiculous. We are trying to create a problem when the problem is not there. 

“I’m seeing the same player that I knew in November when I arrived in Tottenham.

“A good guy who has a great commitment and a great attitude.

“But if we have seven points and you are complaining about Sonny and when he is good, I think we can do good things!

“For me, Sonny is playing a good game. He’s not scoring, but it can happen. It happened last season with Harry Kane. Now Harry has scored twice and we are happy.”

Son will hope to get off the mark at the City Ground and help maintain Spurs’ fine start to the campaign. 

It is highly unlikely Conte would bench him, but one player who is hoping just to make it into the matchday squad is Djed Spence.

The £12.5million summer signing from Middlesbrough won promotion from the Championship on loan at Forest last term.

Yet he has not even been included in the 18 for the last two fixtures against Wolves and Chelsea.

Spence, 22, could return to the bench against Forest with Lucas Moura and Bryan Gil both injury doubts for the game. Cristian Romero and Oliver Skipp are both definitely out.

On England Under-21 starlet Spence, Conte added: “I was very clear at the start when I said this signing is a really good prospect, he’s a young player. 

“This signing, the club wanted to invest in this player.

“The difference is clear. To play in the Championship with Nottingham Forest and then with Tottenham, he needs time to adapt himself in many aspects, in the physical aspect and the tactical aspect because now he is working with another coach.

“I’m seeing a lot of desire, a lot of will, from this player to try to reduce this gap and to be ready.

“With a young player, it’s important to have patience, to work and then to improve. I’m sure Djed for the future will be an important player for Tottenham.”

Likely line-up: Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Emerson Royal, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic; Kulusevski, Kane, Son.





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