Jurgen Klopp admits not signing Son Heung-min was ‘one of the biggest mistakes in my life’ after he snubbed his Dortmund side for Leverkusen in 2013… as the Liverpool boss labels the Spurs star ‘one of the best strikers in the world’
- Jurgen Klopp admits regret at not signing South Korean star Son Heung-min
- He failed to lure the striker from Hamburg when he was at Dortmund in 2013
- Klopp hailed him as ‘outstanding’ and ‘one of the best strikers in the world’
- The Tottenham man is a doubt for the World Cup after suffering a facial fracture
- He has only managed five goals and two assists in 19 games so far this season
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Jurgen Klopp has piled praise on Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, claiming that not signing him was one of the biggest ‘mistakes’ the Liverpool boss has ever made.
The German manager failed to snare Son when he was at Hamburg in 2013 – snubbing his Dortmund side for Bayer Leverkusen.
In a gushing tribute, Klopp also insisted that the South Korean forward has become one of the world’s leading strikers after several fantastic seasons in north London.
Jurgen Klopp has admitted not signing Son-Heung min was one the biggest mistakes in his life
‘One of the biggest mistakes in my life is not signing Son Heung-min. Outstanding player,’ the 55-year-old Liverpool manager told Korean outlet KBS News.
‘He is fantastic, a sign of Korean football and one of the best strikers in the world.’
Despite doubts over his ability to represent his country at the World Cup later this month due to an eye injury, Klopp was optimistic over his prospects and suggested the player could wear a face mask in Qatar after suffering an eye injury against Marseille.
‘From what I hear, he’s in good shape,’ he added. ‘Maybe if Son Heung-min plays in the World Cup wearing a mask, there will be no problem.’
Speaking out on that failed move to Dortmund, Son explained that his decision was down to playing regular football, saying: ‘I wanted to stay in the Bundesliga. Leverkusen and Dortmund wanted me.
Klopp claimed that Son has become one of the best strikers in the world after his rise at Spurs
‘Both teams play in the Champions League but I thought Dortmund would use rotation more than Leverkusen.
‘That’s why I chose Leverkusen over Dortmund. It’s really important to play regularly at my age.’
Both Klopp and Son earned their stripes in the Bundesliga – with Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, and Bayern Leverkusen respectively – before making the switch to the English top flight.
After a particularly fruitful 2021-22, Son finished joint-top of the Premier League scoring charts with Klopp’s star forward Mohamed Salah on 23 goals.
However after an inconsistent start to the 2022-23 campaign for Spurs, the South Korean has only managed five goals and two assists this season.
And to make matters worse, those five goals actually came in only two games, with a hat-trick against Leicester in September and a brace at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League in October.
Liverpool have struggled in the 2022-23 season and are seven points behind Son’s Spurs
But South Korean fans will still be hoping that their talisman can recover from a facial fracture sustained in the final Champions League group game of their campaign at the Orange Velodrome in Marseille.
Klopp’s suggestion that he wear a face mask has become standard practice to allow any player with a facial injury to still take to the field, although it would highlight that Son is yet to reach full fitness.
Probably the most important player for his country, Son will hope to play at his third World Cup, having scored three times in total at the 2014 and 2018 editions of the tournament, though he is yet to progress from the group stage with his country.
And he sent out a message to his followers highlighting his intent to play at the tournament, saying: ‘Hi everyone I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you all for the messages of support I have received over the last week.
‘I have read so many of them and truly appreciate you all. In a tough time I received a lot of strength from you!
‘Playing for your country at the World Cup is the dream of so many children growing up, just as it was one of mine too. I won’t miss this for the world.
‘I can’t wait to represent our beautiful country, see you soon. Sonny.’
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