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Richarlison’s arrival at Tottenham was the main reason behind Son Heung-min’s early struggles this season, claims ex-Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp. However, Redknapp always backed Son to get back to his best and was proven right following his hat-trick against Leicester on Saturday.
The South Korea star won the Premier League Golden Boot last season alongside Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. However, he had not been able to register a goal in his first eight appearances of this campaign.
Redknapp believes the competition brought by Richarlison initially had a negative effect on Son. Spurs signed Richarlison from Everton for a fee that could rise to £60million.
After starting the season out of the side, the Brazilian initially came in for Dejan Kulusevski. But it was Son’s turn to drop to the bench against Leicester.
Ahead of the match, Redknapp hailed Richarlison’s impact on Spurs. However, he said it had not been a positive influence on Son.
Redknapp said on Sky Sports: “Richarlison’s been a brilliant signing for them. He gives them another dimension and like Antonio Conte said he gives you another body, more options than what they probably had previously.
“Son, it’s a dilemma. I was asked the question during the Nottingham Forest game and I said ‘he will come good, he will score goals and it’s all going to be fine’.
“But it’s obviously affected him, whatever way we look at it. Some players like competition, they love to have a bit of rivalry.
“Strikers maybe less so. They like to know they’re the top man.
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“And for the first time since he’s been at Tottenham, he has a real competition with Richarlison.” But Redknapp claimed it would not take long before Son returned to his best.
However, not even he would have expected the 30-year-old to score a hat-trick off the bench. But two stunning long-range goals followed by a strike VAR initially deemed to be offside sealed the match ball for Son.
Redknapp added: “I have no doubts with Son, he’s a brilliant player, amazing player and he will get goals. It’s just a little bit of a confidence blip at the moment.”
Spurs boss Antonio Conte explained his decision to drop Son when speaking ahead of the match. He said it was purely down to giving his players a rest, something Spurs have not been able to do in recent years.
Conte said: “I explained every time in the press conference before the game, the rotations, we need to start making them. It wasn’t good in the past for Tottenham, we will not make the same mistake.”
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