Tottenham Hotspur have it all to do heading into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final clash against Ajax on Wednesday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men are a goal down on aggregate after Donny van de Beek became the player from an away side to score in a European match in Tottenham’s new $1.3billion stadium.
While the reigning International Champions Cup champions head into the game in Amsterdam having lost four of their last five matches in all competitions, there is good news for the travelling supporters. Heung-min Son is in contention to return after missing the first leg due to suspension.
The Korea international has already matched last season’s return of a combined 16 goals in the Premier League and the Champions League. He’s chipped in with one more assist, too.
Not only has he been a reliable goalscorer for Spurs, he’s also been a big-game player for them.
In the Champions League this term Son has averaged 0.5 goals and 0.25 assists per 90 minutes. He scored in the home leg of the last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund and notched in both legs of Tottenham's quarter-final match-up against Manchester City.
His strike in the home leg against Pep Guardiola’s side was the decider while his brace in the return leg played a vital part in Spurs' progress. In total, Son has found the back of the net in three of the four knockout ties he's been involved in this season. In the one game he missed entirely, Pochettino’s men failed to score. It isn’t a coincidence.
Son was involved in 13 goals during an eight-game period in December when it appeared as though Spurs would make it a three-horse title challenge in the Premier League. When his goals dried up, so did the wins.
A four-game glut prior to the defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League saw him score three and assist one as Spurs won three on the bounce and did enough at the Etihad to make their way into the semi-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.
But Spurs are by no means a one-man team and have endured large periods of the season without key players, including Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Harry Winks, Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose. But the team’s form suffers when Son isn’t at his very best.
With a point to prove after being sent off in Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat to AFC Bournemouth, the former Bayer Leverkusen man will be up for this clash against Ajax as he looks to extend his season into June and a first Champions League final in the North Londoners' history. Failure to progress will mean the Spurs No.7’s 2018/19 campaign comes to an end on Wednesday.
Tottenham have been consistent away from home this season in the Champions League, scoring in every away fixture they've played. They’ve travelled to San Siro, the Philips Stadium, the Camp Nou, the Westfalenstadion and the Etihad, scoring in each.
That suggests the Premier League outfit have the ability to overturn a 1-0 scoreline. And Son has the ability to steer Spurs into the final in Madrid to cap off another fantastic season.
Tottenham Hotspur will then be heading to the International Champions Cup 2019 this summer, where they will face Juventus in Singapore, Manchester United in China and Inter at their home stadium in London, England.