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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”