Tottenham are in need of a new right back with the club looking to offload Matt Doherty sometime this month, and according to the Evening Standard they’re looking at a younger option for next season. Jack Rosser writes that Spurs have been tracking 21-year old Middlesbrough fullback Djed Spence, who is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest but would be available for around £12m.
Spence is someone that Spurs have been tracking for a while. He impressed in Spurs’ 2-1 FA Cup win over Boro a year ago and since moving to Forest on loan this year has been playing very well. He’s young, dynamic going forward, and importantly, English. He’s also apparently wanted by Arsenal, though it’s unclear if that rumor is mostly because Forest just bumped the Gooners from the FA Cup a week ago. His stats don’t pop — one goal, no assists — but 1900 minutes and nineteen starts on loan at a mid-table Championship club certainly does.
£12m isn’t a lot for a young English fullback with a high ceiling, especially if he can serve as an understudy or rotation option behind Emerson Royal and/or Adama Traore for a season or two as he acclimates to Premier League football. However, the Standard is clear that since Spence has already played for two clubs this season (Boro and Forest), even if Spurs bought him this month he wouldn’t be able to play until next season. So it’s very likely any move would result in Spence being loaned straight back to Forest for the rest of the current campaign.
I haven’t watched a ton of Spence, but he’s well regarded by Championship watchers, and there are some pretty compelling reasons why Spurs would want to target him. Bidding for Spence this month won’t help Spurs now but it could be a very astute signing for the future. We’ll see what shakes out in the next two weeks.