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‘Sonaldo’ joins Tottenham in Premier League

August 28, 2015
South Korean football player Son Heung-min poses in his new Tottenham Hotspur uniform in this photo released by the English Premier League club on Aug. 28, 2015. (Yonhap)

South Korean football player Son Heung-min poses in his new Tottenham Hotspur uniform in this photo released by the English Premier League club on Aug. 28, 2015. (Yonhap)

Aug. 28 (Yonhap) — Son Heung-min has signed with Tottenham Hotspur, the English Premier League club announced Friday, making him the 13th South Korean to play in the competition.

Tottenham snatched the 23-year-old wing forward from Germany-based Bayer Leverkusen and signed him through 2020. The financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed, though the transfer fee is reportedly around 30 million euros (US$33.8 million).

Tottenham added that the deal is subject to work permit and international clearance, though they appear to be mere formal steps at this point.

Son became the third South Korean in the Premiership this season, joining Ki Sung-yueng of Swansea City and Lee Chung-yong of Crystal Palace. Son is also the second South Korean to play for the club, affectionately known as the Spurs, after Lee Young-pyo, a national team mainstay who starred as the left back from 2005 to 2008.

“I’m a player who really loves football. I am looking forward to going there and performing for the Spurs fans as soon as possible,” Son was quoted as saying on the club’s Twitter page, which sent out each Son-related tweet with the hashtag, #HereComesTheSon.

“The support I get from the fans motivates me more and more,” Son added. “I’ve trained with both feet so I can use them freely. Bold and daring — this is how I like to try to play.”

Son had played his previous six professional seasons in Germany. He joined Hamburger SV’s youth academy at 16 and made his Bundesliga debut during the 2010-2011 season. He scored a career-high 12 goals in 33 matches in 2012-2013 season, and then signed with Bayer Leverkusen.

Last season, Son netted 11 goals in 30 league matches, one goal in two league cup contests and five goals in 10 UEFA Champions League appearances.

A dynamic speedster with a nose for the goal, Son had 29 goals in 87 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen and 20 in 78 matches for Hamburger SV.

Tottenham are hoping to end a long title drought in the top-flight competition. The club’s last first division crown came in 1960-1961 season. They have yet to win a title since the Premier League was launched in 1992.

They finished fifth in the 20-club league last season, behind 21 goals by striker Harry Kane. Son will have to compete with the likes of Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela for playing time.

So far in the current season, Tottenham remain winless with two draws and a loss, having scored three goals and allowed four.

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