Premier League 2016-17: Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min forced to serve in the South Korean army?

It is also to be noted that a failure to serve without exemption leads to imprisonment.

By Sahil Bakshi | Last Updated: Sep 29, 2016, 14:51 PM IST
Premier League 2016-17: Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min forced to serve in the South Korean army?

New Delhi: Tottenham Hotspur star, Son Heung-min has scored five goals in as many outings this season, including a Champions League winner on Tuesday night and a double to down Middlesbrough three days before.

With striker Harry Kane out injured, Son has unarguably been Spurs' best player on the pitch. The South Korean, who considered going back to Germany before the start of current season, is now living up to the expectations that earned him the nickname ‘Sonaldo’ at former club Bayer Leverkusen — for his likeness to Cristiano Ronaldo.

The major twist in his career has come now as he is supposed to complete 21 months of mandatory military service before turning 28. This means that Son, now 24, will miss almost two years at a time when Tottenham could actually be challenging for the Premier League crown under Mauricio Pochettino.

Son, who has a multi-million-pound contract from the London-based club, will be earning a maximum of roughly £130-per-month in the South Korean army, which has consumed famous actors, rappers, singers and most celebrities.

It is also to be noted that a failure to serve without exemption leads to imprisonment. (READ: Celtic hold Manchester City in thriller, Atletico Madrid sink Bayern Munich)

The following Premier League-based South Koreans have earned exceptions in the past:-

Swansea midfielder Ki Sung-yueng missed the final game of last season due to serving four weeks of military duty. His term was significantly reduced for winning a bronze medal at London 2012, along with the rest of his team-mates.

Park Ji-sung, formerly of Manchester United was exempted from military duty after reaching the semi-final of the 2002 World Cup.

Lee Young-pyo, who also played for Spurs, too was a part of the South Korean squad that reached the semi-final of the 2002 World Cup.