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Boost for Tottenham as Son to return following South Korea Asian Cup elimination

2:18 am AEDT 26/1/19
Son Heung-min, Tottenham
The Spurs winger will be back at Wembley ahead of schedule, after suffering a surprise defeat with his country at the hands of Qatar

Tottenham forward Son Heung-min will return to the club ahead of schedule after South Korea were knocked out of the Asian Cup in the quarter-finals.

Qatar managed to produce a shock 1-0 victory over Korea on Friday, which means the 26-year-old will soon be able to fly back to England.

This latest news will come as a huge boost to Spurs officials and supporters, amid an injury crisis which has seen Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko all sidelined over the last two weeks.

While the exact date of Son's return is not yet known, he should be back well before the Asian Cup ends on February 2, meaning he could be available for Premier League matches against Watford and Newcastle.

Son will, however, be unavailable for Tottenham's fourth round FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace on Sunday, which will mark his third successive absence while on international duty.

Mauricio Pochettino's men have suffered during their previous two outings, narrowly scraping past Fulham at Craven Cottage thanks to a last-gasp Harry Winks strike, before exiting the Carabao Cup after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Chelsea on Thursday.

Spurs are still in the contention for silverware on three fronts this season, however, with a Champions League last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund to look forward to next month.

While the gap between themselves and the Premier League leaders Liverpool is now at nine points, Tottenham are still considered as dark horses in the title race and they will also be expected to negotiate their way through to the latter stages of the FA Cup.

Son has contributed 11 goals and five assists for Spurs across all competitions so far this season and he will likely be asked to lead the line in Kane's stead upon his return.

The former Bayer Leverkusen star failed to find the back of the net at the Asian Cup, however, with South Korea beating Bahrain and China with Son in the team, before coming unstuck at the quarter-final stage.

Despite Son's return to Spurs, Pochettino has admitted that he could well look to bring in fresh faces before the January window closes, suggesting a replacement for Mousa Dembele, who left for Guangzhou R&F, is an option.

"We are working," he told a news conference ahead of Spurs' FA Cup fourth-round clash with Crystal Palace. "There are a few options. We will see if we are capable to deliver [on] it. Now, we have a space with Dembele gone.

"I am more than open to improve and to add players to the squad. You can find on the internet or my previous press conferences that I always say the same thing.

"If we can find the right player that is going to help us improve, then we will... but we were never close. There is always a chance. We have still seven days [of the transfer window].

"It looks weird if you don't spend money, but it's not because we don't want to, but because for different circumstances we can't sign."