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 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 beyond April 30 later this week.
Son, currently 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 that 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 impacting on 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.
Tottenham star Heung-min Son has arrived at marines boot camp for the start of his three-week military basic training.
The South Korean forward landed on Jeju on Monday, having spent the two weeks in quarantine following his journey from London, and will stay on the island until the middle of May.
Son was in 2018 given special exemption from South Korea's mandatory 21-month military service after captain|ing his country to a gold medal in the Asian Games, but is still required to complete a shortened month-long assignment.
The 27-year-old was originally scheduled to complete the service during the summer, but Spurs sanctioned earlier dates with elite football across the glove on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Son has been deployed to the marines, which means a shorter service period of just three weeks rather than the usual month
Tottenham forward Son Heung-min has described his military service in South Korea as “tough” but said he was able to enjoy it during the Premier League’s enforced hiatus.
All South Korean men must complete mandatory military service by the age of 28 but Son, who turns 28 in July, avoided missing any time for Tottenham as he completed his last month with the season suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s been a very busy three months,” Son joked in a video on the Spurs website.
Son was excused the full 21-month military service after helping South Korea to victory in the 2018 Asian Games, but was still required to serve a shorter period.
“It was a good experience,” Son said. “I couldn’t say everything that I’ve done but I really enjoyed it. Those guys were nice. The three weeks were tough but I tried to enjoy it.
“I don’t know how the people felt, but for me the three weeks have been long but it was a good experience, I enjoyed it.