Antonio Conte confirms Harry Kane will take penalties despite Son Heung-Min chasing Golden Boot
Speaking ahead of his side’s final game of the season against Norwich City tonight (h/t Evening Standard), Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte confirmed that Harry Kane would take the penalties for the team ahead of teammate Son Heung-Min.
Son is one of the favourites to win the Premier League Golden Boot at the end of the campaign, with the forward only sitting one goal behind Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah. Both players have been in stellar form this term for their respective teams.
However, Conte reminded everyone that the target of the team ranks higher than personal targets. He said that Kane is the designated penalty taker, and Son would have to watch the Englishman take the spot-kick rather than get an opportunity to increase his goal tally.
“Before (personal interest) there is the interest of the team and Harry Kane is our player who has to kick. If there is this opportunity Kane has to kick. Then I am pleased for Sonny, he deserves to stay in this position, but don’t forget the first interest is the target of the team not personal targets, the personal target comes later.”
Son has scored 21 goals in the top-flight this season, which is the player’s most productive return for the Lilywhites since his debut for the club. He joined the English side from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015.
“I also know Sonny’s answer”
His strikes have been a big reason why the north London side sit in fourth place, on course to secure Champions League football next term. They are two points ahead of Arsenal, and a draw against Norwich tonight would be enough to confirm UCL qualification.
Conte said that Son is a smart and intelligent person, who thinks the same way that he does. Between winning the Golden Boot and securing elite European football, the Italian said he had a preference, which he hinted at being the same answer that Son does.
“If we are good to match both situations I am the first to be happy, but I repeat, I know Sonny thinks my way because he is a really good guy, he is a smart person, a very intelligent person. I am the first person to be happy to have a player in my team win the Golden Boot, I am the first. But if you ask me to pick one of these two, you know which is my answer. I also know Sonny’s answer.”
Playing against a Norwich side that has already been relegated from the top-flight this season, Tottenham will head into the fixture as the overwhelming favourites. With Son’s goalscoring record and Spurs’ recent good form, they are expected to make it easy for themselves.
The 29-year-old will be looking forward to adding more goals to his personal tally against seemingly weaker opposition, with one eye on the Golden Boot. However, Conte has insisted that the forward is on board to put the team above his own targets, which is encouraging to hear about.
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Football is a team sport after all, and Son’s teammates will be hoping that the South Korea international will be looking to bring his best against the Canaries. After a season of ups and downs, the team will be looking forward to ending the campaign on a high.
That said, it would be icing on the cake if Son does manage to beat Salah to the individual honour and also secure Champions League football for Tottenham. Between the two players, the Spurs star is currently in hot form, and could perhaps pip Salah to the top scorer prize.