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Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: At a time when rebuilding efforts at Tottenham are being hampered by the announcement of a recent reduced transfer budget due to the coronavirus, one of Jose Mourinho’s star players Son Heung-min has decided to fully utilise the break by completing his mandatory national service.

British media announced late on Thursday that Tottenham had cut down on Mourinho’s transfer budget with projected income at the club taking a beating due to COVID-19.

And Son — who fractured his elbow in Tottenham’s win over Aston Villa in mid-February — has decided to utilise his abundant spare time in completing the mandatory military service as required by South Korea.

Son had secured an exemption from military service along with his other South Korean teammates following their 2-1 win over Japan to land the football gold medal at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games in Indonesia. Son, who was captain of the team, was one of the over-aged players in the otherwise under-23 competition.

As per rules in South Korea, all able-bodied men must complete 21 months of service in the military as a deterrent against the more hostile North. However, exemptions are made to athletes who win gold at the Asian Games or any medal at the Olympic Games.

Earlier during the week, Son flew back to Seoul — and is currently serving the two-week quarantine period — with the intention of reporting to duty in the Military Corps, on April 20.

In the meantime, talks are ongoing between the English Premier League and their partners to see when competition can possibly get under way again. One of the top football leagues in the world, the EPL has been halted since March 9 following the pandemic.

So, the more the delay in the EPL, the better would be the chances for the 27-year-old Son to complete his service without too much of an impact on his playing career. While he is in his home country, Son is expected to take part in the club’s remote training programme that begins via video call from Monday (April 6).

Earlier in the week, Son had uploaded pictures and a video on his Instagram showing himself skipping without a cast on his arm. The Premier League is expected to resume on April 30, but that would only depend on all partners agreeing that it is safe and appropriate to continue the competition.