Heung-Min Son fails to shine on his Tottenham debut but Spurs dig deep to record first win of the season at Sunderland 

Heung-Min Son fails to shine on his Tottenham debut but Spurs dig deep to record first win of the season at Sunderland  Heung-Min Son made his debut for Tottenham after his £22million moveSon missed chance to open account as Jordi Gomez made last-gasp tackleSouth Korean was substituted after 62 minutes at the Stadium of Light 23-year-old was replaced by Andros Townsend on the right of midfieldRyan Mason scored the winning goal for North London club late on

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Spurs could lose £22million South Korean Heung-Min Son to national service in the coming years – and it’s fair to say his debut was more foot soldier than the penalty-box sniper his new team so desperately craves.

The most expensive footballer in Asian history, it is said that Son boasts both the silk and steel needed to success on these shores – and that is why Spurs invested such a hefty sum in the 23-year-old earlier this month.

But those who have ventured from the East – Manchester United’s Park Ji-sung apart – have generally seen their fortunes head south in the Premier League.

Son Heung-min signed for Tottenham for £22million from Bayer Leverkusen and made his first start

Son Heung-min signed for Tottenham for £22million from Bayer Leverkusen and made his first start

The South Korean looks to avoid the challenge of Jordi Gomez at the Stadium of Light on Sunday afternoon

The South Korean looks to avoid the challenge of Jordi Gomez at the Stadium of Light on Sunday afternoon

Son, then, has a lot to prove, not least because of the fee paid to Bayer Leverkusen, where he scored 29 times in 87 appearances.

But against the division’s most porous defence – no team had conceded more than Sunderland’s 10 coming into the weekend – the forward failed to inspire and was duly substituted after little more than an hour.

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He had worked hard, yes, but it proved hard work for Son to impact in the manner his new paymasters would have wished.

That may have had something to do with his deployment as one of the widemen in a labored and predictable 4-2-3-1 system – but even when presented with space he sided with caution as opposed to creativity, laying off tidily to team-mates when perhaps taking a risk would have reaped more reward.

The 23-year-old missed a good chance to open his account but he miscued his shot with the goal at his mercy

The 23-year-old missed a good chance to open his account but he miscued his shot with the goal at his mercy

Gomez glides past the former Hamburg winger in a goalless first-half at the Stadium of Light on Sunday

Gomez glides past the former Hamburg winger in a goalless first-half at the Stadium of Light on Sunday

There was one effort on goal, Son cutting infield from the right and letting fly with a 20-yard shot which was always drifting wide.

There had earlier been a whipped free-kick with his right boot which caused panic in the six-yard area, proof of the two-footedness which has featured in every appraisal of Son coming out of Germany.

A heat map shows where Son was deployed by Tottenham manager Mauricco Pochettino at Sunderland

A heat map shows where Son was deployed by Tottenham manager Mauricco Pochettino at Sunderland

Heung-min unleashes a shot at goal in the first-half Heung-min wasn't afraid to go in for an aerial duel on his Spurs debut

Heung-min unleashes a shot at goal while he also wasn't afraid to go in for an aerial duel on his Spurs debut

He was denied what would surely have been a debut goal by the sliding Jordi Gomez when he stole from Son’s toe on the stroke of half-time and there were at least signs of his ambition to populate the danger zone.

But that was the last sight of Son threatening to break behind enemy lines. Spurs will be hoping their new boy has a whole lot more in his arsenal. 

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