Mauricio Pochettino confirmed that Son Heung-min is ready to make his first appearance of the season for Tottenham against Newcastle United on Sunday.
Son missed both of Spurs’ opening Premier League fixtures due to a three-match ban he received in May. It came following a clash with Jefferson Lerma during a 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth.
The South Korea international, who bagged an impressive 20 goals in 48 games last season, had to watch from the sidelines as Pochettino’s side claimed one win and draw in their first two games.
But Son’s return couldn’t be more welcome for Pochettino considering record-signing Tanguy Ndombele is out with a thigh problem.
“Unlucky for him that [the ban] was over the holiday,” Pochettino said on Son via SportsMax.
“I think he was training really, really hard to keep fit and improve in different areas. We are happy in the last few weeks he was unbelievable in the way he was available to train and compete in every single training session and I hope it’s going to help the team from now.
“I think it was a good opportunity for him to build his fitness and have a proper pre-season which sometimes when you’re involved in competition is difficult.
“For him, looking at last season which was really, really complicated for him and difficult and we used that situation and trying to be positive and helping him to get really fit to help him and the team.
On Son, the Spurs boss added: “Because the pre-season is so important for every player, but sometimes the priority is holidays and this type of situation with him it was so clear that he was going to be suspended for two games and the plan was to provide him with good quality training to improve in different areas – and when the moment he is available to play to be in the perfect condition.”
Meanwhile, Dele Alli has returned to training and could feature depending on the outcome of a late fitness test. The English midfielder has struggled with a hamstring injury this summer.
New signing Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) and defender Juan Foyth (ankle) will both likely remain sidelined.