Harry Kane’s latest ankle-injury setback leaves Tottenham counting on Son Heung-min’s star quality once more, according to defender Jan Vertonghen.
Kane hobbled out of Spurs’ Champions League quarter-final clash against Manchester City on Tuesday following a late challenge on England team-mate Fabian Delph.
The 25-year-old striker left the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on crutches and wearing a surgical boot on his left foot, with Mauricio Pochettino expressing fears Kane could now miss the rest of the season.
But by that point, Son had thrashed a 78th-minute strike under Ederson, giving Spurs a 1-0 advantage to take to the Etihad Stadium next week.
“Everyone is counting on Sonny,” Vertonghen said. “We’ll have Harry coming back from injury, hopefully soon.
“Everyone needs to step up like we did before. We won, I think, all of our Premier League games without Harry and hopefully we can do it again.”
18 – Son Heung-Min has now scored as many goals in 40 games in all competitions this season for Spurs as he managed in 53 appearances in the whole of 2017-18 (18 goals). Deadlock. #TOTMCI pic.twitter.com/9Iq1tcivDp
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 9, 2019
Spurs have indeed impressed in Kane’s absence this season and Son stepping up to the plate after he departed against City was far from an isolated incident.
The England captain was rested for October’s trip to West Ham in the EFL Cup, with Son hitting a brace in a 3-1 win.
Kane’s previous ankle injury occurred during the closing stages of the January loss to Manchester United and meant seven games on the sidelines.
To compound matters, Son headed off for international duty with South Korea at the Asian Cup, during which time Spurs scraped a 2-1 win against now-relegated Fulham and went down to cup defeats at Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
Son returned to score an 80th-minute equaliser in a 2-1 win over Watford – the first of a goal in each of four consecutive victories.
In 40 appearances across all competitions this season, Son has 18 goals at an average of one every 150.2 minutes.
In the five games he has played without Kane in the team he has six goals in 448 minutes of action, or one every 74.6 minutes.
If City, along with Spurs’ rivals for a top-four spot in the Premier League, think Tottenham without Kane might wilt, Son gives them ample reasons to think again.
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