Tottenham confirm Son Heung-Min will go to Asian Cup after Man United game
South Korea have named Son Heung-Min in their squad for the AFC Asian Cup next month, but Tottenham Hotspur will not release the player until after their Premier League clash with Manchester United on Jan. 13.
Spurs struck a deal with Korea at the start of the season whereby they agreed that Son could play in the Asian Games, which is not on FIFA's official calendar, in August as long as he missed their international friendlies in November and the first two group matches at the Asian Cup in United Arab Emirates against Philippines and Kyrgyzstan.
South Korea beat Japan 2-1 to win the Asian Games, with the gold medal excusing Son from having to do 21 months of compulsory military service.
Son will be available for Korea's final group game against China on Jan. 16 with the final taking place in Abu Dhabi on Feb. 1. If Korea reach the final, Son will miss Premier League games against Fulham, Watford and Newcastle, the second leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal away to Chelsea and a potential FA Cup fourth-round tie.
Coach Paulo Bento has recalled forward Ji Dong-Won, but there were few other surprises in the 23-man squad announced.
The group features 14 of the 23 players who travelled to Russia for the World Cup in June, while Bento has also shown faith in those who have helped him build a six-game unbeaten run since taking over in August.
Bento said Ji had impressed him in September friendlies against Chile and Costa Rica before the Augsburg striker was sidelined through injury.
"I know Ji only played for us in our first two matches, but he had good performances," he said at a news conference. "He is a player who has adjusted very well to our style of play."
Ji will back up Gamba Osaka striker Hwang Ui-Jo, who has scored three goals in six matches under Bento and was named this year's KFA Player of the Year.