'You're wrong': Paul Mitchell shares what a Tottenham staff member said to him about Son Heung-min
Mitchell was part of the recruitment team which helped bring Son to Spurs, during the reign of Mauricio Pochettino.
He told Sky Sports that a misconception soon formed that Son was not a good finisher, which Mitchell believed to be false even at the time.
Son has since of course completely shattered that illusion and was the joint top scorer in the Premier League alongside Mo Salah last season.
Paul Mitchell proven right about Son
“I took quite a lot of criticism in my first year at Tottenham for some of the decisions and Sonny was at the centre of that,” he said.
“Once again, it’s a little bit of a learning for me. Sometimes players need time. They’re human beings; they need to settle. Sonny had a great track record at Hamburg and Leverkusen. I remember there was this narrative that started to grow internally and externally that he wasn’t a good finisher.
“I remember one of the staff members that saying to me when I was watching a training session and I said ‘you’re wrong’. His history shows in two different clubs and Leverkusen being a big club – he’s an astute finisher, off both sides.
“What we’ve seen over the years since, after that year of integration – and sometimes you need that patience when you know the quality of the individual – is everything we saw.
“The due diligence we did as a scouting and recruitment department just coming to fruition and then that coach effect growing that potential to be consistent, and I think he’s going to go down as a great player in Premier League history.”
Son is not the only player to need a little bit of time to adjust to the Premier League and he has been a roaring success.
Perhaps Mitchell’s comments are worth remembering in case any of Tottenham’s exciting signings this summer do not make a flying start.
We can be too quick to criticise or write players off from limited exposure to them, and often they will prove observers wrong – like Son undoubtedly has.
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