Tottenham Hotspur fans have two more matches to enjoy with Son Heung-Min. Today, the club officially announced that, as expected, Sonny has been named to South Korea’s squad for the 2024 Asian Cup in Qatar, and he is expected to report for international duty on January 2, 2024.
That means he’ll play in today’s match at Brighton & Hove Albion, as well as home to Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve, but will miss potentially five matches if Korea make the final, starting with the FA Cup match against Burnley on January 5. Depending on how Jurgen Klinsmann’s side does in Qatar, Sonny could miss the following league matches: at United (Jan. 14), vs. Brentford (Jan. 31), at Everton (Feb. 3) and home to Brighton (Feb. 10).
I know the general consensus is that international football during the club season sucks and I’ve certainly helped foster that view on this blog. And it will definitely suck to be without Sonny for a month just as we’re starting to get healthy as a team, especially with the African Cup of Nations running concurrently.
But this is also a pretty big opportunity for Son and for South Korea — the Asian Cup only runs every four years, and South Korea hasn’t won the tournament since 1960. The last time they made the final was in 2015, when they were beaten by an Ange Postecoglou-managed Australia. Korea enters the tournament as one of the favorites along with Japan and the Socceroos, and if Korea can take the title it’ll be huge for Sonny. I don’t want him to go but I hope he does well.