Ange Postecoglou says Son Heung-min is still learning the ropes when it comes to playing as a number nine, insisting that he has no doubts about the Tottenham captain’s fit for the role.
Postecoglou started the season with Richarlison as his number nine but decided to move the South Korean to the middle after the Brazilian was struggling to find the back of the net.
The move has worked, with the 31-year-old having found the back of the net nine times so far this season, but there are evidently parts of his game that need to be ironed out.
Son has had a lot of trouble staying onside, having been trapped offside nine times, the second-highest of any player in the Premier League this season.
The forward has also been found wanting aerially, struggling to win headers while his hold-up play is also nothing to write home about.
Postecoglou thinks Son can thrive as a number nine
Postecoglou admitted that Son has a steep learning curve as a centre-forward but remarked that the experienced Spurs star offers a lot to the side, given his technical quality and ability to link play.
When asked about Son’s new role, the Australian told Football.London: “I think he has it in him anyway. I’ve watched him a lot for Korea and he tends to play in a central role for them. I think he has that technical ability.
“It’s different in the Premier League and I think with every game he’s getting a better understanding of how to be involved in the link-up play and not just the final third stuff.
“Having him drop deep and receive it is really useful and adds another bow to what we’re doing, but all the players are in that phase of hopefully understanding a little bit more about what they can do and bringing a little bit more of themselves.
“Because a lot of the stuff is very prescriptive and we want them to follow direction, and that can sometimes be stifling but you have to go through that process to free them up, and that front third is still the area where I think we’re just really at the infancy of. I see so much growth for us in that area.”