Son Heung-min: Tottenham forward revels in match-winning hat-trick, but is he back to his best?

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After scoring 23 goals last season, Tottenham’s Son Heung-min had fired blanks in his first six games this season.

It led to manager Antonio Conte deciding to drop the South Korean forward to the bench for their home game against Leicester City on Saturday night.

But, as the clock reached 59 minutes, Conte turned round and called for the influential 30-year-old, with the game firmly in the balance at 3-2.

Less than 30 minutes later it was 6-2 and Son had become the first Tottenham player to score a hat-trick off the bench in the Premier League, with a devastating 13-minute burst.

He curled a right-footed effort into the top corner from 25 yards, before a left-footed strike found the bottom corner from 20 yards and it was rounded off by a deflected shot being given after the video assistant referee overruled an offside decision.

It led to former Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp telling Sky Sports that Spurs “have got a chance to achieve something”.

Meanwhile Chris Sutton, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s 606, said “Spurs have the best forward line” in the Premier League.

Spurs went joint-top of the league, alongside Manchester City, and their 17 points from seven games reflects their joint-best start to a Premier League campaign.

Until now Son had found the new season “tough”, attempting 17 shots without scoring, but netting for the first time as a substitute since 2017 lifted a lot of weight off his shoulders.

“It was an amazing feeling,” he told BBC Sport.

“I couldn’t believe it [when I scored]. All the frustration and what I had, disappointment and negative feeling just went. I couldn’t move so I stood still. It made me really happy.

“Football is crazy sometimes. Sometimes the ball didn’t want to go inside and three times [it did today]. It changes everything. I learned so much in this tough period. I need to work hard every time to get the chance.

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