Michael Owen believes Son Heung-min should not be dropped despite a disappointing start to the season.
Last season’s joint Premier League top scorer has had a tricky beginning to his 2022-23 campaign, with no goals and just one assist in his eight appearances.
The 30-year-old had another quiet game as Tottenham lost 2-0 to Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Tuesday evening. However, Owen believes Tottenham boss Antonio Conte should keep Son in his starting lineup.
“Short memories,” Owen told BT Sport when asked if Son should be dropped.
“If you are Manchester United, Manchester City or Liverpool, and you say ‘right, we can have one player [out of Son and Kane]’, I would say the majority would take Son.
“Yes Harry Kane scores many goals, but he scored more goals last season. He’s younger, very difficult to play against. I think you have got to be patient with great players as well.
“What would you do to his head [by dropping him]. He’s carried the team for the last two, three, four years. Everyone was saying it was a two-man team.
“Then all of a sudden he has a few average, quiet games and you drop him. You think ‘okay, I have been so loyal to you and a couple bad games you put me on the bench, I am your best player’.
“They [Kane and Son] have proven they can play together and scored loads of goals together. It is how can we bring in another top player and make it all work, but not at the expense of what is guaranteed which is Son.”
Son and Kane have been joined by Richarlison, who joined in the summer, in their attack under Conte this season.
Former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand agrees with Owen’s comments and suggested Conte may have to change Spurs’ system to adapt to the South Korea international.
“He is a top player,” said Ferdinand. “It is up to Conte to find a way of playing to get the best out of him because he is that good.
“There are certain players in your team that you can’t afford for them to not be playing. They have got to work it out and he is one of those players.”