Son Heung-min is hoping to carry out his mandatory four-week national service in South Korea during football’s coronavirus shutdown.
The 27-year-old Tottenham forward travelled back to his homeland last week as he continues his recovery from a broken arm, but is waiting for confirmation that the Premier League suspension will be extended this week beyond 30 April.
Son, who is in quarantine for the next two weeks after flying in from London last weekend, has to serve in the South Korean military for four weeks by law. He earned an exemption from the standard 21-month service in 2018, when he was part of the South Korea team who won the Asian Games.
Spurs allowed Son time off for that tournament during the 2018-19 season, and he will see this as a perfect opportunity to carry out his service without it affecting his playing career. He hopes to start on 20 April, and will reportedly serve in the country’s military corps.
The Premier League is widely expected to suspend the season beyond its current date at the end of the month as meetings with the EFL, PFA and League Managers’ Association continue this week. That would allow Son time to complete his service and then return to London in time for the league’s resumption.
It has been a turbulent few weeks for Son, who was only back in London for a few weeks having returned to Seoul for surgery on his arm in February. Upon his return to the UK, he was forced into two weeks of isolation. Son then spent a week at Tottenham’s training complex before it was closed following the government’s instructions to stay at home.
The enforced break has worked in his favour as he will almost certainly be fit when the action does restart, having originally expected to have missed the remainder of the season. Son uploaded pictures and a video on Instagram this week, showing him skipping without a cast on his arm.