Fresh on the heels of the news of Son Heung-Min’s impending new contract at Tottenham Hotspur, Jose Mourinho waxed enthusiastic about the South Korean’s future at the club. Speaking to the press ahead of Monday’s trip to Turf Moor to play Burnley in Premier League action, Mourinho said that the club’s goal was to help Sonny commit his future to Spurs and to feel “part of the furniture” at Tottenham.
“I would love [him to sign a new contract]. Son has three years of contract, so it’s not like we’re in an extreme situation of everybody being worried. It’s more that Son loves it here, I believe that he would like to commit his future to the club for a long time.
“Everybody at the club is totally in love with this player and this boy and is trying also to make him feel part of the furniture. It’s normal the club tries to go from three years to four or five or six, I don’t know. It’s normal. But it’s a very calm situation because Sonny has three more years of contract. But I wish [for him to get a new contract]. He deserves one. The club knows that and sooner or later, without any pressure, they will arrive into a decision.”
Few would argue that if anyone on Spurs’ squad deserves a new contract, it’s Sonny. He has emerged over the past few seasons as one of the most important players at the club, alongside Harry Kane, with whom he has formed an almost telepathic connection on the pitch. Sonny signed his last deal back in 2018, just before he departed to compete in the Asian Games — that new contract was, at the time, a statement of support from the club ahead of an international tournament that determined whether Sonny would need to cut short his career to serve in the Korean military.
A new contract would be more a reward for his outstanding play the past two seasons, and reports are that a new deal would likely push his salary up to the top of Spurs’ wage scale alongside Kane and Tanguy Ndombele.
However, Mourinho is still Mourinho, and in the midst of praising Sonny, he also seemed to take a dig at an unnamed player or group of players, warning of “naive social behavior.”
“He cannot do more than what he does. Season after season after season, Sonny is showing how good he is. Of course, the better the team is, the easier it is for the players to emerge. But Sonny is Sonny and everyone knows what he needs to do now to go to the next step: nothing. It’s up to you to do that.
“Or he starts doing stuff socially and becomes famous and becomes in the big headlines because of some weird, silly or naive social behaviour.”
This is a weird comment, not least because it doesn’t seem to be aimed at Sonny at all. It’s not entirely clear who Mourinho is sub-texting, but we can take a guess. For example, Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has been in the news a lot lately (for very good reasons) pushing the government to address childhood hunger in the UK and receiving some pushback from folk who would prefer that he “stick to sports.”
If we look closer to home, you could also make a case that this is a mild dig at Dele, whom Mourinho has more or less shunted out of the squad lately. who has had some public and at times embarrassing incidents on social media. Dele is also active online as a Twitch gamer, and has a number of fashion lines and products as part of his emerging brand that keep him in the public eye (though perhaps no more than any other top level professional footballer).
Or maybe this doesn’t mean anything and is just a warning to Sonny and his players not to let fame go to his head, although all of Son’s actions up to this point have indicated he’s a person who’s pretty uncomfortable with his own level of fame. Dunno. It’s pretty bizarre.
Whatever the case, it’s nice to have further confirmation that Sonny is, as we already know, extremely well respected at the club, and that he’s someone they want to keep around for as long as possible.