Son Heung-min tops ESPN player ranking

Tottenham’s Son Heung-min / Reuters-Yonhap

By Baek Byung-yeul

Tottenham Hotspur’s Korean forward Son Heung-min topped the ESPN’s weekly player power rankings, Tuesday.

The ESPN listed the 24-year-old footballer as the player of the week, among Premier League and European footballers, for scoring two goals and an assist in Saturday’s Premier League match against Watford.

“Son scored twice and assisted on another in Spurs’ 4-0 rout of Watford on Saturday, and would have had a hat-trick if not for the woodwork. Since Harry Kane’s ankle injury in March, the South Korean international has stepped up in his absence, scoring seven goals and two assists in six appearances across all competitions,” the ESPN commented.

With two goals, Son has scored a total of 18 goals this season to surpass his previous career high of 17 goals with Bayer Leverkusen in the 2014/15 season.

Those goals also put Son level with Korean legend Cha Bum-kun who set a single season scoring record in Europe by a Korean player. In the 1985/86 season, Cha scored 19 goals with Leverkusen in all competitions.

Son already became the highest-scoring Asian in the Premier League, surpassing the previous milestone of eight goals set by his compatriot Ki Sung-yueng with Swansea in the 2014/15 season.

Following Son, Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich ranked second on the ESPN’s power player list. The ESPN said Lewandowski “contributed a brace against his former club as Bayern stormed to a 4-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.” It added that the 28-year-old Polish scored six goals in six games against his former employers since joining Bayern on a free transfer in 2014.

Everton’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku was placed third as he scored twice in his team’s 4-2 win over Leicester City on Sunday. He was followed by Juventus’ Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain for scoring both goals as Juventus defeated Chievo 2-0 on Saturday. Manchester United’s forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic ranked fifth. The 35-year-old former Sweden international netted a goal with an assist in his team’s 3-0 win over Sunderland on Sunday.

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