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BAD KOREA MOVE

Tottenham face losing Heung-Min Son for two years to the South Korean Army

In-form striker could miss 2019-20 and 2020-21 as Korean law says all men under 28 must do 21 months of National Service

Well this isn’t something you hear every day.

Spurs face losing striker Heung-Min Son for TWO YEARS to the South Korean Army.

Under Korean law, all men must do 21 months of National Service before they turn 28.

Son reaches that milestone in July 2019  and any military call-up would rule him out of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.


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Heung-Min Son has enjoyed his best season for Spurs but could be missing for 21 months if he has to go through with his National Service

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Heung-Min Son has enjoyed his best season for Spurs as he nears 20 goals but could be missing for 21 months if he has to go through with his National Service

Yet the South Korean government does give exemptions for sports stars who perform exceptionally at major tournaments.

It means the in-form Tottenham ace could get a free pass if his country shines at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

South Korea have been drawn in Group F with Germany, Sweden and Mexico — and would need to match their 2002 performance by reaching the last four.

South Korea star Heung-Min Son has been holding his own with Tottenham team-mates like England striker Harry Kane

Ian Walton
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South Korea star Heung-Min Son has been holding his own with Tottenham team-mates like England striker Harry Kane this season

But with that an unlikely scenario — the Taeguk  Warriors’ best effort since co-hosting was reaching the last 16 in 2010 — Son has two other get-out routes.

If South Korea and Son were to win either the 2018 Asian Games or the 2019 Asian Cup, the Spurs man would be given his exemption by  the Army.


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South Korea want Son, their best player, to be one of their three over-age players in the Asian Games, which takes place in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2.

And in any event, he would  be expected to help lead their attempt to retain the Asian Cup.

They won it last time out without Son after his  then-club Bayer Leverkusen refused to release him  in 2014 for the tournament in the UAE.

Son could miss Tottenham’s first four games of next season if he is included  in the Asian Games squad.

And Mauricio Pochettino’s side played eight matches this season between January 5 and February 1, which is when the Asian Cup is being held.

Heung-Min Son has been as effective as bigger names like Dele Alli this term 

Ian Walton
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Heung-Min Son has been as effective as bigger names like Dele Alli this term

But Poch would probably see  the upside of not losing the attacking midfielder for nearly two years as a  gamble worth taking.

Versatile Son is enjoying a stunning season, bagging 18 goals as Spurs close in on another top-four finish.

Team-mate Dele Alli said: “Sonny is unbelievable — it’s a joy to play in this team with so many quality players.

Heung-Min Son might have an enforced break from the Premier League for two seasons

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Heung-Min Son might have a long and enforced break from the Premier League

“It’s nice to see him scoring and he plays such a huge part  in the side.”

Left-back Danny Rose added: “Sonny is very under-rated. Goals aside, people don’t get to see his attitude on a daily basis.

“He’s always bubbly whether  he plays or not and deserves all the plaudits.

“He’s  closing in on 20 goals again and that’s something to be delighted with.”