Tottenham star Son backed by Neville to emulate Man Utd cult hero Park

Heung-Min Son, Tottenham
The former Red Devils defender admits to having spotted the winger's talents early, with Valencia urged to snap him up before Tottenham made a move

Son Heung-min caught the eye of former Manchester United star Phil Neville early in his career and is now being tipped to emulate Park Ji-sung.

The South Korea international rose to prominence at Hamburg, having joined their academy system at 16 years of age.

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He would go on to further impress in Germany at Bayer Leverkusen and earn a £22 million move to Tottenham in the summer of 2015.

Son is now starring for Spurs in the Premier League and Champions League, with Neville admitting that he is a talent that he has been aware of for some time.

The ex-United and England utility man told Goal: "I first saw Son Heung-min when I was a coach at Man United and he was playing for Leverkusen. He was very impressive.

"And when I became a coach at Valencia, I suggested to sign Son Heung-min. He was the first player I suggested to sign at Valencia. I thought he was a fantastic young player.

“Our owners also knew him well. We needed a winger who has pace and the quality to score a goal. It never happened, but I followed his career."

Neville added on the similarities with his former team-mate in Manchester: "I played with Park Ji-sung at Man United, and they have similar qualities. Their attitude is fantastic. They give energy to their team.

Phil Neville Son Heung min Tottenham

"Park became a legend at Man United - unselfish work, played in big games. Everyone remembers he stopped [Andrea] Pirlo in the Champions League, he was great to play with, a nightmare to play against.  

"I think Son is going the same direction with what Park did at Man United. Maybe Son scores more goals, Park is more of a team player, but they have similar qualities."  

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Son made a slow start to life at Spurs, netting eight times in 40 appearances during his debut campaign.

He emerged as a key figure under Mauricio Pochettino last season, though, finding the target 21 times in all competitions.

The 25-year-old opened his account for 2017-18 by scoring in Tottenham’s 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in their first game of the Champions League group stage.