Heung Min Son has revealed that he wanted to leave Tottenham in 2016 and only stayed because Mauricio Pochettino gave him a ‘new self-confidence.’
The 27-year-old, who opened the scoring for Spurs in their Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday, joined the club from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015, struggled to adapt to the Premier League and scored just eight goals in 40 appearances in all competitions during his first season in England.
Son suffered a foot injury in September of that year, which forced him to miss seven games – and despite a strong end to the campaign which included goals in consecutive matches against Chelsea and Southampton, he openly admitted he wanted to return to Germany.
But Pochettino persuaded Son to stay in North London and he has gone on to become one of Tottenham’s most important players over the previous three seasons, scoring 62 goals since the beginning of 2016/2017 – with only Harry Kane scoring more for Spurs.
In an interview with Goal, the South Korean captain said: “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.
“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.”