In the latest South Korea news, head coach Shin Tae-yong has admitted Son Heung-min will be a marked man at the World Cup.
The Tottenham forward has been in sensational form this season, scoring 18 goals in 52 appearances and has become a key player in Mauricio Pochettino’s side, with his consistency clearly favoured by the Argentine.
Now, ahead of the World Cup, where South Korea can be backed at 5/2 with bet365 to beat Sweden in their opening group game, coach Shin says the 25-year-old has to be able to cope with the pressure of being his country’s star man, with others not quite at his level.
“He’s done well with Tottenham and he’s one our best attacking options,” Shin told Reuters. “He enhances our team totally with his attacking ability.
“Honestly speaking, when he plays for Tottenham, Son Heung-min has great attacking partners like Harry Kane and Dele Alli and there’s a synergy between them when they play.
“In our team, Son’s partners are maybe at a little bit of a lower level and that makes it a little bit harder for him to show his ability when he plays for the national team.”
South Korea’s other Group F opponents are Germany and Mexico and Shin acknowledges Son will be the player that the other nations mark.
He has now challenged the 25-year-old to rise to the occasion.
“Son still plays well for the national team, but when he plays for Tottenham there are many good players and opposing defences are not only focussing on him,” he said.
“But when he plays for the national team, the opposition focuses on defending against Son Heung-min. Sometimes he has struggled to overcome that but now I think he’s doing well.
“But to become a big player, he has to overcome that barrier.”