Heung-min Son has revealed that he considered quitting Tottenham after his debut season in England, but is delighted to have stayed put and proven himself as a Premier League star.
Back in the summer of 2016, the South Korea international found himself weighing up his options.
His first campaign with Spurs had delivered just eight goals and, after representing his country at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Son felt a return to Germany may be best – having previously thrived at Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen.
Mauricio Pochettino was able to talk him away from the exits in north London and has seen the 26-year-old forward go on to find the target a further 55 times while becoming an integral part of the Spurs setup.
Son told the Evening Standard of his previous transfer thoughts after being named Premier League Player of the Year at the London Football Awards: “I came close to leaving.
“I went to the gaffer’s office and told him I didn’t feel comfortable and wanted to leave for Germany.”
He added on Pochettino’s show of faith: “The gaffer trusted me and I am so grateful.
“He made my dream come true. I am more than grateful [to him] — it is difficult to say. I have worked four years with the gaffer. It is just amazing.”
Son has caught the eye again for Tottenham this season, registering 16 goals across all competitions and six assists in his Premier League and Champions League outings.
His contribution had Spurs in the hunt for the Premier League title at one stage, but back-to-back defeats against Burnley and Chelsea have dropped them nine points off the pace.
A north London derby date with Arsenal on Saturday will present Pochettino’s side with an opportunity to get back on track and Son is looking forward to another outing on the grandest of stages.
He added: “The last two games weren’t what we expect but it has passed.
“Arsenal is important because, after two losses, we need to show our character.
“For our fans as well, we have to make them happy and show how good we are. We don’t have to worry about it, we just have to enjoy [playing] on the pitch and show what we can.
“I think I am the happiest guy in the world, especially in the Premier League. It is an honour to play in the Premier League.”