Tottenham striker Harry Kane expects South Korea star Son Heung-min to make a major impact on the Premier League after his dazzling home debut.
Son took Kane’s place in the Tottenham team for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Qarabag and struck twice in three minutes to stake his claim for more action when Crystal Palace visit White Hart Lane on Sunday.
The 23-year-old forward, signed from German club Bayer Leverkusen for £18 million in August, could well have done enough to retain his place, but Kane is also likely to return so Son may shift to one of the wide positions.
Kane came off the bench for a late cameo, having been left out of the starting line-up for the first time in almost seven months, but he showed no signs of frustration at being rested because he hopes Son’s predatory performance is a sign he can share the burden of leading Tottenham’s attack.
Since he burst onto the scene last season, Kane has provided virtually all of Tottenham’s attacking threat, but the pressure of being his club’s main man appeared to be taking its toll during a tepid start to the current campaign.
Without a goal in six Tottenham appearances this term, although he has scored twice for England, Kane said: “Sonny did a great job up there and we’re delighted for him to get the two goals.
“We’ve got a great squad, a lot of players in a lot of positions so we’ve no worries.
“I’m delighted for him – he played very well. He ran in behind, he got two good finishes and he created a lot as well. Hopefully there’s more to come.
“I’m not worried about my form. Obviously I came on against Qarabag for 30 minutes. It was a good run-out.
“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m playing well so I’ll keep getting in the right positions and the chances will come and I’ll take them.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was delighted with Son’s impact and hinted the youngster’s versatility would stand him in good stead as he adapts to the Premier League.
“I am very pleased with him, very happy. His adaptation to the club has been good from the beginning,” Pochettino said.
“I think I explained before the Sunderland game that Son can play like a striker. He can also play wider. He has the quality to play in different positions on the pitch.”
With only one win from their five league games this season, Tottenham can ill-afford a slip-up against London rivals Palace, who are in fifth place after a strong start highlighted by a shock win at champions Chelsea.
Returning to action fewer than 72 hours after facing Qarabag in Europe is hardly ideal and Palace boss Alan Pardew says his side will hold an advantage having not been in action since their defeat by Manchester City eight days ago.
“I’ve been involved in the Europa League, and it’s difficult,” Pardew said.
“Thursday to Sunday, the recovery time’s not great and the energy levels of some of their players will not be at full capacity, it can’t be.
“There will be fingers crossed that those guys can produce a Premier League performance on the back of a tough Thursday night. But we’re fresh so that gives us a slight advantage.
“It isn’t fair on the Premier League, because the intensity of our game is greater than any other European league, and until some sense prevails and you play on a Monday night when you have played on a Thursday, then I think all the teams in that competition will suffer.”