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Son hopes to complete national service in South Korean military during shutdown

The 27-year-old travelled back to his homeland last week following football’s shutdown.

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Son Heung-min is hoping to carry out mandatory national service following his return to South Korea (Nick Potts/PA)

Son Heung-min is hoping to carry out mandatory national service following his return to South Korea (Nick Potts/PA)

Son Heung-min is hoping to carry out mandatory national service following his return to South Korea (Nick Potts/PA)

Tottenham forward Son Heung-min is hoping to carry out his mandatory four-week national service following his return to South Korea.

The 27-year-old travelled back to his homeland last week following football’s shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, but is waiting for confirmation that the Premier League suspension will be extended beyond April 30 later this week.

Son, currently in a two-week quarantine after flying in from London last weekend, has to by law serve a mandatory four-week national service in the South Korean military.

It should have been 21 months, but he earned an exemption in 2018 when he was part of the South Korea team that won the Asian Games, with Spurs allowing him to leave midway through the 2018-19 campaign.

Son is currently recovering from a broken arm, but will see this as a perfect opportunity to carry out his service without it impacting on his playing career.

He hopes to start on April 20 and is reported to be serving in the 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 English Football League, Professional Footballers’ Association and League Managers’ Association continue this week.

That would allow Son the window to complete it and then return to the UK in time for the resumption of the league, whenever that might be.

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Son Heung-min broke his arm against Aston Villa on February in a game where he scored two goals (Nick Potts/PA)

Son Heung-min broke his arm against Aston Villa on February in a game where he scored two goals (Nick Potts/PA)

PA

Son Heung-min broke his arm against Aston Villa on February in a game where he scored two goals (Nick Potts/PA)

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 broken arm in February.

Upon his return to the UK, he was forced into two weeks of isolation and had only been back at the club’s Hotspur Way training complex for a week or so 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 earlier this week, showing him skipping without a cast on his arm.

PA