Alex McLeish has claimed Jose Mourinho has talked to Heung-min Son about his “headless” performances when Harry Kane is missing for Tottenham.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Rangers and Scotland boss admitted he saw a big difference in South Korea international against Everton from his displays against Brighton and Chelsea.

The 28-year-old was tasked with leading the line in the 5-4 defeat against the Toffees, with Harry Kane coming on in the second half to net a late header and take the game into extra time.

Son also had to do without his attacking partner against the Seagulls and the Blues, with Steven Bergwijn and Carlos Vinicius given the chance to stake their claim up front.

McLeish admitted he thought the South Korean star was trying too hard to replicate Kane’s performances in the league games and suggested Mourinho had had a word with him about not dropping back when leading the line.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “The system is obviously a wee bit different – when Harry Kane wasn’t there for a couple of weeks with injury, I felt Son was a bit headless.

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“He was running about, trying to go back, get the ball, trying to make things happen a la, almost, Harry Kane. You know how Harry’s going back, takes the ball, hits quarterback passes and for Son a couple of weeks ago, we saw a goal of that making.

“For me, when Kane is out of the team it’s a big loss but they played Son further up (v Everton) and I think it was a case of, ‘I don’t want you coming back and getting involved with everything’, Mourinho must have given him the message and what a game it ended up being.” 

Son has scored 17 goals and chipped in with 12 assists for Spurs so far this season and ended a five-game goalless run by netting against West Brom.

In other news, Mourinho will be tearing his hair out over “surprise” Tottenham blow.