Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min will skip South Korea's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Syria on Tuesday (6 September) in order to kickstart his career at White Hart Lane. The 24-year-old striker apologised to his countrymen over the decision but insists he needs to focus on Spurs during a week that sees Mauricio Pochettino's side travel to Stoke City on Saturday prior to a Champions League opener against Monaco four days later.
Son moved to North London in the summer of 2014 after Spurs paid around £22m ($29.3m) to Bayer Leverkusen for his services. He had an impressive start to life at White Hart Lane but his form soon tailed off, making just 13 Premier League starts in the whole campaign.
Relationships between player and parent club seemed to worsen over the summer, when he opted to miss the season's opening week's by featuring for his national team in the Rio Olympics. Son was unavailable for the opening two Premier League games of the campaign, before being an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Reports in the dying days of the transfer window unsurprisingly linked him with a move away North London, with Wolfsburg said to be ready to fork out £24m in order to lure him back to the Bundesliga.
Son instead opted to remain at White Hart Lane, despite the additional competition he will face to secure regular time following the signings of Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Moussa Sissoko and Vincent Janssen.
However, the South Korean is ready to prove Pochettino he deserves a place in his plans this term and has subsequently decided to return to London sooner than expected after helping his country to a 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over China.
"Tottenham are the team I wanted to join and I know that I have to work hard and play my best," Son said, as quoted by Sky Sports, after revealing that he is going to miss the World Cup qualifying match against Syria. "I am in good condition and ready to go and play as well as I can. I am sorry to my national teammates and coach but I will support them and hope they get a good result against Syria."