Djed Spence is a player in demand this summer. Usually, it would be difficult to prise a player away from a promoted team. It is expected for them to test themselves in the Premier League with their current club before moving on to a team higher in the division. However, Spence was only on loan at Nottingham Forest and he is set to return to Middlesbrough.
This creates an opportunity for another Premier League club to swoop in for him, as he will be sold by Boro this summer. Forest remain well positioned to sign him according to reports, but there are a number of sources, including the Express, suggesting that Tottenham will beat them to the right-back’s signature.
Tottenham are set to spend big this summer, as they try to re-tool their squad to suit Antonio Conte’s tactical set-up. Investment is expected in the wing-back positions, with Ivan Perisic already joining on the left side. Spence would be an exciting signing to play as the right wing-back. Interestingly, he shares a lot of physical attributes with Adama Traore, the player Conte wanted in January for the role.
This indicates that Conte wants a fast player on the right side, which would make sense as they would be playing behind Dejan Kulusevski. The Swedish international has been an excellent signing for Spurs, but he does lack pace. If they were to sign Spence, the physical profiles of the two players would mesh well.
The 21-year-old has had an excellent season in the Championship. He has been spoken about as a talented full-back for the last couple of years, but his loan spell at Forest has seen him emerge into the mainstream.
Spence contributed two goals and four assists in the Championship, showing the dual threat that he carries. The right-back is dangerous when carrying the ball due to his speed and agility. He averaged 1.8 dribbles per game last season, underlining his preference to run with the ball. Further to this, he averaged one key pass per game, showing that he can create chances on a consistent basis.
It was his performance in the FA Cup against Arsenal that really caught the eye, as he delivered a man of the match display. During the game, he was Forest’s biggest threat with six completed dribbles, by far the most of any player on the pitch.
He was solid at the back too, with two tackles and four interceptions, showing his impressive reading of the game. Spence had a difficult opponent in Gabriel Martinelli and he performed well. This will have convinced many that he was good enough for the highest level.
After signing Perisic, it would be exciting for Tottenham to sign Spence. It is a profile that is more fitting to the long term recruitment strategy at Spurs, as he is young with lots of potential. He would get the chance to hone his craft under one of the best coaches in the world. It is an environment that should suit Spence, as he would be given license to attack.
It isn’t a signing without risk, but if Tottenham sign Spence, it would be an exciting move for the club.
Stats taken from Whoscored