Tottenham Hotspur’s pre-season plans are shaping up ahead of the 2022-23 Premier League season. Last month, Spurs announced that it planned a preseason tour to South Korea, the home nation of their star Son Heung-Min, for a competition against Mallorca and a team of Korean All-Stars. Now, according to David Ornstein in The Athletic (£), Spurs are planning an additional stop, this time to Israel.
Details are, again, few. Ornstein states that it’s not finalized, and that the details of the trip could range from just a quick one match friendly to a multi-day stay with training and a competition. It also may depend on things like international preseason commitments and how many players are available to make a trip like this. But it does sound as though this is the current direction the club is heading.
In a lot of ways, a trip to Israel makes sense, especially considering the historic connections between the club and its Jewish support. In fact, I’m a little surprised that I haven’t seen the club make a preseason visit to Israel during my 15 years as a Spurs fan. Considering that, pending an unforeseen COVID variant surge that scuttles their plans, this is the first time in two years that Spurs have had the ability to travel overseas, it makes sense that the club would want to maximize their exposure abroad. If the club are adding this on the end of the Korea trip, Israel would also technically be about halfway back to London, potentially easing any jetlag experienced from flying all the way to Korea.
The choice of destination is likely going to be a somewhat divisive — these things always are, especially with Israel involved — and it’s a little weird as I can’t imagine there’s a massive Tottenham fanbase in the country. However, I can at least squint and see a decent rationale for this kind of preseason stop. Ornstein sounds like it’s not a done deal, so we’ll have to wait until the club makes an announcement.