Heung-Min Son missed out on the 2021-22 Team of the Season despite winning the Golden Boot
The Tottenham star has been one of the league’s most consistent performers in recent years
Is Son the most underrated player of the Premier League era?
Heung-Min Son, Claude Makelele, Andy Cole, Denis Irwin, Michael Carrick.
A lot of Premier League players have been deemed underrated over the years, but this quintet might have been the subject of that descriptor more than any other players.
Perhaps players featuring for teams at the forefront of Premier League odds outright should be disqualified from such discussions – how underrated can you really be in Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea or Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United?
Equally, a case can be made that those players are oft overshadowed by more famous, often flashier, peers. Son falls into that category.
He gets plenty of plaudits, but the attention is naturally focused on Harry Kane at Tottenham.
When it comes to wider discussions about the Premier League’s elite, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah were talked up more than the South Korean.
Son is a three-time Player of the Month in the Premier League, and was named to the Team of the Season in 2020-21.
He had the rare feat of winning the Golden Boot and not making the Team of the Season in 2021-22. It’s not like Son is forgotten about, but there is still a case that he’s underrated.
The tandem of Kane and Son is as dangerous as any in Premier League history.
They are favoured in sports betting to make the top four next term, and that hope is as dependent on Son as anyone, even after the signings of Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski.
The former Leverkusen forward has 40 goals and 17 assists over the last two Premier League seasons.
Mane had 27 and nine over that period. Raheem Sterling had 23 and 12. Salah is at 45 and 18. Son’s production is only a notch behind Salah, and that’s without taking penalties.
Tottenham are not the same force in Premier League predictions without Son.
Their inconsistency over the last few years has detracted from Son’s reliability. He’s on top of his game, a lethal, two-footed finisher and perfect accomplice to Kane in the final third.
There is subjectivity in being underrated, but Son being overlooked for Team of the Season gives us something more quantifiable to go on.
Son was objectively better than Mane and Cristiano Ronaldo last season, yet both made the Team of the Season ahead of him.
Son Heung-min scored more non-penalty goals than any other player during the 2021/22 Premier League season and he has NOT been included in the PFA Team of the Year.— Squawka (@Squawka) June 9, 2022
Make it make sense. 🤪 pic.twitter.com/B0MYFWRUCv
How often is he included in discussions about the best forwards in the world? It’s not frequent enough that his name comes up, that’s for sure.
Son is unquestionably underrated. An absence of silverware at Tottenham, and playing for a country which isn’t exactly at the centre of World Cup predictions, contributes to that status.
He is yet to enjoy the glories of Mane or Salah, nor does he play with the highlight-generating flair of peak Eden Hazard or Riyad Mahrez.
The numbers speak for themselves, but it’s not just statistics with Son. His impact on Tottenham is obvious.
A lot of players haven’t got the admiration they deserve in the Premier League era, but the gap between Son’s performance and the praise he receives might the greatest of all.