Son Heung-min’s shining hat trick at Burnley will make Ange ponder whether his captain should be Tottenham’s regular No. 9.
The gaffer probably won’t slot Sonny into the No. 9 position permanently. But maybe he should.
While one match against a newly promoted side won’t be enough to convince Ange to make the switch, it will almost invariably plant the seed.
Sonny has played as Spurs’ No. 9 before, mostly when the club was short of options after Harry Kane picked up one of his numerous ankle injuries.
The South Korean was magnificent yesterday against Burnley, scoring on all three of his shots on target. Not only did he show his marksmanship capabilities, but he also had one key pass and completed 82 percent of his passes.
The most pivotal component of an elite No. 9 is their ability to be clinical and ruthless when an opportunity arises. Three goals from three shots can’t get any more clinical.
There are situational decisions Ange will have to take under advisement, including whether the opposition plays a high line or tries to play it out of the back like Burnley does. So, he’ll also make his decision based on who the side lines up against.
Richarlison scored on Tuesday against Fulham, his first of the season. However, the Brazilian has been anything but clinical since arriving from Everton.
Ange will almost assuredly give Richarlison more opportunities as Spurs’ starting No. 9. But his leash, especially after seeing Sonny dominate, will become much shorter if he doesn’t start producing.
Manor Solomon, who made his Tottenham Premier League debut against Burnley, was also magnificent. He missed a couple of rudimentary passes in the early goings but was exceptional thereafter.
He set up two of Sonny’s goals and is a prime candidate to take over Sonny’s role on the left if the captain slides into the central forward role.
If anything, it heaps the pressure on Richarlison, who also has Brennan Johnson to contend with.
The former Nottingham Forest attacker played slightly more on the wing but is also accustomed in the No. 9 role.
Sufficed it to say, the Brazilian needs to start doing what he’s paid for. Otherwise, he’ll be relegated back to the bench, like he was for the lion’s share of his first season at N17.
- Published on 09/03/2023 at 6:00 AM BST
- Last updated on 09/03/2023 at 6:00 AM BST