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Mancienne exclusive: 'Ridiculous' Tottenham star Son always destined for greatness

The evolution of Heung-min Son has come as no surprise to former Hamburg teammate Michael Mancienne.

Son arrived at Tottenham Hotspur from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015, and after a slow debut campaign, has blossomed into a bonafide superstar.

Blessed with electrifying pace and football intelligence, the South Korean has since scored at least 18 goals and 6 assists over the past three seasons.

Last season he was instrumental in Tottenham making the Champions League final, scoring four goals over the quarter-final and semi-final, including a double in that dramatic 4-3 loss against Manchester City.

His emergence into the spotlight hasn't come as a total surprise to Tottenham, who scouted him from his progression from Hamburg to Leverkusen.

The winger mesmerised the Bundesliga as a teenager after breaking through the academy ranks at Hamburg, who signed him from FC Seoul in 2008 at the age of 16.

Mancienne played with Son during his breakthrough campaign at Die Rothosen, and the New England Revolution defender could not speak highly enough of the 27-year-old in conversation with

Asked if he could see Son's potential, Mancienne replied adamantly: "Yes. Easily.

"I thought he was amazing when he was there and he was really young when I was playing with him.

"Left foot, right foot, he could shoot from anywhere and it would fly into the top corner. He was a joke honestly. His work-rate was ridiculous.

"He was just such a good player and I rated him highly back then so I could definitely see him developing into what he has now."

Quizzed on whether Son could have the likes of Barcelona or Real Madrid seeking his signature, Mancienne added: "Yeah most definitely. He's got the ability, he has everything, so most certainly he could."

Son's achievements haven't gone unnoticed by the footballing world.

On Tuesday, he claimed a record third AFC Asian International Player of the Year award, and also finished 22nd in the Ballon D'Or voting.

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Andrew Maclean
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