Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a similar blow to what Liverpool are expecting to happen with Mohamed Salah at the mid of the upcoming campaign.
Liverpool’s rival Tottenham Hotspur could lose talisman Son Heung-min midway through the upcoming season due to his anticipated participation in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
The tournament, which was supposed to take place this summer in China, suffered setbacks due to the host country’s issues involving Covid-19. Last year the decisions were made to postpone and then relocate the tournament to recent World Cup hosts Qatar, with dates finally confirmed earlier in 2023.
As reported by football.london, the attacker’s first group stage match with South Korea will take place on Monday, January 15 with the final on Saturday, February 10. During this window, depending on when players are released for international duty and the North London club’s success in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, Son could miss up to seven domestic matches.
This will be a boost to all of the club’s Premier League rivals in the race for the title and qualification for Europe, though in Liverpool’s case it would serve only to level the playing field. This is due to the Reds facing the same crisis with one of their own, Mohamed Salah.
Two seasons ago, Salah and Sadio Mane provided a double blow to Jurgen Klopp’s plans as they were called up for international duty to take part in the African Nations Cup. Both made it to the final with their respective nations, with the Egyptian King left distraught after a penalty shoot-out loss, and in total missed six matches for Liverpool in all competitions.
Next year’s AFCON will take place for a marginally longer timeframe than the Asian Cup, beginning on Saturday, January 13 and finishing on Sunday, February 11th. During this window, Salah could miss as much as 10 matches for his club, including crunch Premier League clashes with Chelsea and Arsenal and both legs of a potential Carabao Cup semi-final.
Should Liverpool and Spurs each lose their prized asset for the longest period possible, it would hit a major blow to both clubs’ targets of bouncing back from 2022/23 underwhelming seasons.