Tottenham Hotspur have had a strong start to the new season, both domestically and internationally. However, summer addition Djed Spence, 22, has mostly been a spectator, as the 22-year-old has so far played just a supporting role under Antonio Conte.
After shining while on loan at Nottingham Forest last season, where he made 46 appearances across all competitions and contributed five assists, the promising defender was later signed by the north London club in a £20 million deal, with many anticipating that he would take over the right wing-back position for the Lilywhites.
However, as it has turned out, the young player has only made one minute-long appearance so far this season, and that appearance was, oddly, against former club Forest at the City Ground.
The Garibaldi had been interested in signing the England U21 international, so he may have been regretting his choice not to accept a permanent contract with Steve Cooper’s team over a transfer to Spurs.
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Even though it is still early in his time in the capital, the attacking full-back, who was described as a “Rolls Royce” by pundit Martin Keown last season, must already be worried about the part he will have to play under Conte going forward after the Italian initially referred to him as nothing more than a “investment of the club”
The 53-year-old has since reiterated that opinion, giving the London-born prodigy little chance for a more prominent position. The former Chelsea manager had even been looking to sign another wing-back when Spence joined the team.
The youngster’s position under the winning coach is undoubtedly shown by the fact, and journalist Paul Brown has subsequently indicated that the Tottenham boss is still not at all persuaded by the Englishman or his teammate Matt Doherty.
Then, given the recent story of Jack Clarke, owner Daniel Levy could have to get ready for another young player who might not fit in at the club, making the season for the £7.2 million-rated guy at N17 a lengthy one.
The former Leeds United star was acquired in the summer of 2019 for £11.5 million after making an impression at Elland Road in the Championship. He scored twice and provided two assists during the 2018–19 season.
The attacker was properly assimilated into the Tottenham first team after a season back on loan with the Yorkshire club, but he only made four senior appearances over the following two years, spending the majority of that time on loan at Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City, and Sunderland.
The latest window saw the 21-year-old obtain a permanent transfer to the Black Cats, making the initial decision to recruit him from Leeds somewhat of a waste of money.
If the early indications are accurate, Spence may very well take a similar course, with the “combative” jewel — as Ian Wright described him — having to put up a genuine battle to establish himself to a management who seems to have had little influence in his recruitment.
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