When Tottenham fell to a 1-0 defeat to Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday, two players who might have made a difference to events were watching on from the sidelines.
Harry Kane missed the match through injury while Heung-Min Son was serving a suspension after picking up three yellow cards in the tournament to date.
But while the former is unlikely to return for Wednesday’s second leg, the South Korean will be a crucial part of the Tottenham side that will battle to secure a place in the Champions League final.
Ajax came to north London and showed no fear, overwhelming Spurs with their free-flowing attacking and confident passing play.
But for all the positives that the Dutch side drew from their performance, Tottenham offered little in attack. With the exception of Lucas Moura, few Spurs players created anything of note, and as a team they lacked invention and incision in the final third.
Son will inject Mauricio Pochettino’s side with a much-needed burst of energy, carrying on from his superb performance against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
During Spurs’ remarkable progression from the quarter-finals, Son scored two goals within the first 10 minutes of the second leg and blew away the Premier League champions.
His decisive finishing and searing pace caused a multitude of problems for City, and there is good reason to expect he will produce more of the same against Ajax.
Spurs will need an enormous step-up in quality from their disappointing first leg, and Son will be key to their chances of producing an improved performance.