Son Heung-min admits he wanted to leave Tottenham in 2016 – and reveals reason he decided to stay

Son Heung-min

Son Heung-min has revealed that Mauricio Pochettino persuaded him not to leave Tottenham three years ago.

The South Korea international moved to White Hart Lane from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015 but was limited to only 13 Premier League starts in his debut campaign.

Injury limited Son’s opportunity to impress, and it also took him a while to adapt to the Premier League.

The forward was even tempted to depart after just a single season at Spurs, but Pochettino assured him that he would become a key player in the future.

“The Premier League is different. I do not want to compare this with the Bundesliga, because the Bundesliga has great quality, but in the Premier League everything goes faster and is much more physical,” he told Goal, reflecting on his move.

“At the beginning I played and also scored some goals. Unfortunately, I injured myself and it was difficult to find a connection to the team again. I did not get any more games and wanted to go back to Germany because I felt very comfortable there. But the coach has always encouraged me. He was the right coach for me in this situation.

“I said I’d like to leave the club, but he really wanted me to do well at Tottenham. He gave me new self-confidence. The talks went so well that at some point I pushed aside my thoughts of change.

Son has not won a trophy since moving to north London, and Spurs’ chances of doing so this term were damaged by last week’s shock EFL Cup exit at the hands of Colchester.

Pochettino’s side are already 10 points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool, but the South Korean insists Tottenham are not out of the race just yet.

“What counts for people are titles. We have been close to winning a title so often. I hope that the time has finally come.

"I definitely do not want to give up. There are also 10 points to catch up. Especially if you look at how many games are left to play. Everything can happen.”

Spurs will be looking to bounce back from Tuesday’s 7-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich when they face Brighton on Saturday.

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