Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has no doubt Son Heung-min will hit the goal trail soon, declaring the forward’s temperament would even make him a perfect son-in-law.
Son shared the Premier League’s Golden Boot award with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah last season but is yet to find the net in the 2022-23 campaign.
Harry Kane has instead been the main provider of Spurs’ goals in their four games so far, and it was Kane’s double that saw off Nottingham Forest 2-0 on Sunday.
Yet Conte has no concerns over Son, who he believes is the perfect example to his squad of an upstanding man.
“Sonny is a really sensible player. He’s a top man, a really good guy. If I had to find a husband for my daughter, I would like it to be a person like him,” Conte said in a news conference.
“In these moments maybe he’s suffering a lot because he is not scoring, but he has to continue to trust in himself because in every game he has a chance to score.
“He has to be calm. We trust him. For sure he’s a bit disappointed he’s not scoring, but it’s no problem for me. Son will always be part of my football vision.”
Kane has now scored 201 league goals across his career, including 14 outside the top flight while on loan with Leicester City, Millwall and Leyton Orient.
He also matched Andy Cole on 187 Premier League strikes, becoming the joint third highest goalscorer in the competition’s history, behind Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney.
The England captain could have had a hat-trick, but Forest goalkeeper Dean Henderson kept out a second-half penalty.
39 – Since the start of March, Tottenham have picked up more points in the Premier League than any other team (39), winning 12 of their 17 games in this time (D3 L2). Impressive. pic.twitter.com/1xEKv5WNMO
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 28, 2022
Henderson has now conceded from just one of the five Premier League penalties he has faced, the best record of any goalkeeper to face at least five spot-kicks in the competition, and Conte refused to criticise Kane for failing to beat the Manchester United loanee.
“I think he didn’t miss the penalty; it was a big, big save from the goalkeeper. It was an incredible save,” Conte added.
Kane atoned for his failed spot-kick attempt, which ended his run of 15 consecutive spot-kicks scored in the league for Tottenham, with a stooping header to make it 2-0 in the 81st minute, with Spurs’ big-money signing Richarlison supplying a fine cross to tee up his fellow forward.
Richarlison was the subject of a hefty challenge from Brennan Johnson soon after, with the Brazil attacker having frustrated Forest by performing kick-ups close to the touchline.
“I wouldn’t want my players to do what Richarlison did. It wouldn’t be accepted here,” said Forest head coach Steve Cooper, though Conte defended his player, insisting Richarlison meant no disrespect.