South Korea coach says out-of-form Son 'not the problem'

AFP , Tuesday 13 Sep 2022

South Korea coach Paulo Bento has no plans to talk to Son Heung-min about his poor form after naming the Spurs forward in his squad Tuesday for crucial pre-World Cup friendlies.

Son Heung-min
Son Heung-min

 

South Korea host Costa Rica on September 23 and Cameroon four days later, with all three countries bound for the World Cup, which kicks off on November 20 in Qatar.

Bento named a 26-man squad as he attempts to nail down places for Qatar, where the Koreans are in Group H alongside his native Portugal, Ghana and Uruguay.

Son shared last season's Premier League Golden Boot with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah but the 30-year-old has made a slow start to the new campaign and is yet to score in seven games in all competitions.

"I feel the same (about Son)... I will not spend any time to talk about this kind of thing with him," Bento said, asked whether he was worried about his talisman's goal drought.

"For me, he's not the (a) problem."

Midfielder Lee Kang-in, who plays in Spain for Mallorca, returns to the squad for the first time in nearly 18 months.

South Korea squad:

Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu (Al-Shabab/KSA), Song Bum-keun (Jeonbuk Motors), Jo Hyeon-woo (Ulsan)

Defenders: Kwon Kyung-won (Gamba Osaka/JPN), Kim Moon-hwan (Jeonbuk Motors),  Kim Min-jae (Napoli/ITA)  Kim Young-gwon (Ulsan), Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Motors), Kim Tae-hwan (Ulsan), Yoon Jong-gyu (FC Seoul), Cho Yu-min (Daejeon Hana Citizen), Hong Chul (Daegu FC)

Midfielders: Kwon Chang-hoon (Gimcheon Sangmu), Na Sang-ho (FC Seoul), Paik Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Motors), Son Jun-ho (Shandong Taishan/CHN), Yang Hyun-jun (Gangwon FC), Lee Kang-in (RCD Mallorca/ESP), Lee Jae-sung (Mainz/GER), Jung Woo-young (Al Sadd/QAT), Jeong Woo-yeong (Freiburg/GER), Hwang In-beom (Olympiakos/GRE), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton Wanderers/ENG)

Forwards: Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Cho Gue-sung (Jeonbuk Motors), Hwang Ui-jo (Olympiakos/GRE)

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