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Postecoglou knew Son could fill Kane’s role at Spurs after 2015 Asian Cup game

Ange Postecoglou has said he was confident Son Heung-min could be his main striker at Tottenham following the departure of Harry Kane, having seen the South Korean’s abilities at close range as far back as 2015.

Son scored against Postecoglou’s Australia in that year’s Asian Cup and, as Tottenham were preparing to take on Chelsea on Monday night, the Spurs manager talked about his decision to not invest in another centre-forward in the summer.

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Postecoglou’s side, who are top, remain the only unbeaten team in the league after Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle. Son was appointed captain after the departure of Kane and has scored eight goals this season. Postecoglou admitted he had earmarked Son as the replacement for Kane, who scored a hat-trick for Bayern Munich against Borussia Dortmund this weekend, long before he came to the club.

“He scored against me in the Asian Cup in 2015, that was enough,” Postecoglou said. “I saw enough to know that he’s a decent goalscorer. He’s always been a goal threat.

“Going into the transfer market and bringing in someone that was going to score 25-30 goals, I just don’t think that was realistic. He’s got great capacity for working, pressing. I just thought he would be a really good fit for us here. He wasn’t the only option I was looking at but probably the best fit for where we are as a team and what we needed. The more he plays, the better he’ll get in terms of being a goal threat and he’s a massive asset to have.”

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Postecoglou also talked about his relationship with the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, who came under pressure last season, describing it as a “healthy working one” and hoping that will continue to aid him in developing his team.

“My relationship with Daniel is like the ones I’ve had with the major decision-makers at other clubs I’ve worked at: I need them to believe in me. You can get in that space in many different ways. It doesn’t mean you have to socialise or talk with him every day.

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“It’s not a unique situation, when I walked into Celtic the board were not too popular either. But they believed in me and when they did that of course they deserve the credit, because they backed me to get the club to where it is.”