When Gareth Bale enjoyed his most devastating season at Tottenham in the 2012/2013 campaign, Andre Villas-Boas began to utilise him in a more central area, and to incredible effect.
In the ten games that he played in a second-striker position, the Wales superstar racked up six goals and five assists. There were a number of occasions where the 31-year-old picked the ball up in the inside right position before driving inside and unleashing a rocket into the top corner.
Ultimately, it was a case of getting the ball to the team’s best player and just letting him do his thing. Whilst Bale may have made his return to Spurs, there’s one man who Jose Mourinho could replicate AVB’s tactic with at the club: Heung-min Son.
The South Korea international, rated at £57.6m by Transfermarkt, has started the new campaign like a house on fire, scoring seven goals in six games, and picking up three assists too – just one of those goals came in the Europa League qualifying games, with the rest all in the Premier League.
The one game that he started the match through the middle came against Shkendija, and he showed his full ability, netting once and setting up two others.
His combination of pace, movement and clinical finishing has been a class above this season, and his outstanding four-goal haul against Southampton will live long in the memory.
The key takeaway from that game was how the 28-year-old didn’t play out wide or just hugging the touchline. Instead, he made a conscious effort whether through a tactical instruction or his own intuition to play more infield, and make those darting dangerous runs inside either the two centre-backs, or the full-back and centre-half.
Son is the man in form at the moment, and Mourinho would do well to strike while the iron is hot. Moving him into a more central position could see him wreak even more havoc.
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