Tottenham fighting for Nottingham Forest loan sensation full back

As Tottenham begins what could be one of the most exciting squad rebuilds in years, many assume veterans will be the key. While Antonio Conte has developed many younger players in his illustrious coaching career, he does tend to prefer players who can get the job done now. However, in a bid to build a sporting project that can last more than a few seasons, Spurs will need to keep an eye on potential hires this summer. Age is key – can they find players who are young enough to improve, but already good enough to play?

In £15m-rated Djed Spence, they might have both.

Spurs are believed to be keen to do a deal for the Middlesbrough full-back. Loaned out to Nottingham Forest by Neil Warnock, Boro watched as the full-back evolved into one of the most exciting young English players around. Absolutely rapid down the line, Spence would be perfect in the wing-back role that Conte employs.

Given Emerson Royal has not exactly impressed and Matt Doherty is unlikely to be here long-term, Spence is a near no-brainer. Young, talented, and more than capable of getting up and down the wing in support of the attack, he would be the perfect hire for this current Spurs team. If Conte wants him, then all the more reason to push for the signing and make it happen.

Nottingham Forest believed to be key competition for Spence

The main issue for Spurs is that Nottingham Forest are keen to do the deal to keep the player. Having shone on loan and been essential to their promotion campaign, coach Steve Cooper wants to see Spence back at the club next season. While Spurs are confident the UEFA Champions League berth would be enough to sway most players, Spence has enjoyed a special bond with Cooper at Forest.

Given that Forest could offer him guaranteed starts more or less every week when fit, too, it is hard for Spurs to compete in some ways. Spence would be starting off as a bench option, hoping to get in ahead of either Doherty or Royal. That would mean the player would need to be patient – given he was not playing at Boro and thrived at Forest, he could choose regular game time over sitting on the bench.

For Spurs, though, players like Spence are the ideal kind of hire this summer. Young enough to be able to get better and to develop physically, but already good enough to contribute. Spence also offers the benefit of being a young, homegrown player who would contribute to the UEFA homegrown quota Spurs need to meet.

While he is not academy trained, he would count towards the 8 spaces needed for a domestic option. Spurs would be able to get a very good player for a very fair price - £15m for a future England international would be a great deal five years ago. Today? It’s the kind of deal that, if Spurs can do it, should be done ASAP. 

09.06.2022 < Back