Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to end their post-break slump when they travel to the south coast to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League this evening.
Antonio Conte’s side were held to a goalless draw by Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League on Tuesday night, just a few days after their 3-1 defeat to arch-rivals Arsenal.
The Italian’s frontline has faltered with Heung-min Son, in particular, struggling to refind his form of 2021/22.
Should Son be dropped vs Brighton?
Aside from a hat-trick cameo from the bench in the whitewash of then-basement boys Leicester City, the South Korean international has only provided one assist in his other ten appearances, via Transfermarkt.
That’s one direct contribution every 211 minutes, well below his more-impressive career average at the club of a goal or assist every 110 minutes.
Son was arguably Conte’s most important player last season, having delivered 23 goals and nine assists across 35 league appearances, which was six more contributions than Harry Kane as he outranked the Englishman in both regards.
There’s no denying that the 29-year-old – who was once dubbed a “machine” by one former teammate – has been out of sorts for much of the season so far, as evident by his WhoScored ratings of 6.31 vs Chelsea, 6.46 vs Nottingham Forest, 5.92 vs West Ham United and 6.3 against the Gunners.
It now leaves Conte with a conundrum as Son is the sort of player that can usually turn it on at any moment, though we’ve only really seen it once in 11 outings.
The 53-year-old hinted at a tweak in the system during a recent press conference and if fellow wide man Dejan Kulusevski isn’t back from injury, then it would make sense to go to a 3-5-2 and for Son to be axed.
As ruthless as it would be – after all the £22m man has been a shining light over many, many years – Conte must be bold and drop the struggling South Korean if he’s to turn their attacking fortunes around against the Seagulls at the Amex Stadium tonight.
If anything, it could ignite a flame just as it did in the triumph over the Foxes right before the international break.
AND in other news, Conte’s “important” £30m “non-stop machine” is proving to be his next Hazard…
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