Djed Spence’s Tottenham career has been an underwhelming one with just 41 minutes of football since he signed for £20million 12 months ago. The England under-21 international was sent on loan to Rennes for the second half of the season but made just nine starts before injury ended his spell prematurely.
Spence initially arrived at Spurs to much excitement last summer. Arsenal had also been keen on the full-back after he shone for Nottingham Forest in the Championship. On loan at Forest from Middlesbrough, he was a key cog of Steve Cooper’s side that earned promotion and also knocked Arsenal and Leicester out of the FA Cup.
Per the Evening Standard, though, Spence is now up for sale already. Despite the attack-minded Ange Postecoglou taking over at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the player is free to leave Spurs. He was left out of the squad for the first match of the new Premier League season on Sunday, a 2-2 draw at Brentford.
It has been suggested the 23-year-old could even be used in part-exchange to snare £50m-rated Brennan Johnson from Forest this summer. It is a sorry downfall for Spence who has talent in abundance. Arsenal legend Ian Wright is among the football experts to be a big admirer of his abilities.
After Forest beat Arsenal in the cup, Wright said: “That was one of the best right back performances I have seen for a very long time. A very long time. If we are talking about right-backs performing at an unbelievable level, we’re talking Reece James and Trent (Alexander-Arnold).
“But I have not seen a combative, technical, swashbuckling performance like that for a very long time. I said to him afterwards, ‘whatever’s happening, whatever you’re doing, the level you’ve just shown us here is the level you have to be consistently hitting, Djed’.
“I said that to him at the end of that game and all his family were there, and they were saying ‘Yes! Listen, man! Listen!’ I said to him, in all seriousness, ‘That level we saw there? You should be in the Premier League’. Simple as that.”
He got that move but hasn’t had the chance to prove he truly belongs in the Premier League. He is now free to find a new employer and his transfer fee and wage demands (he earns £25,000 a week at Spurs) will go some way to dictating what happens next for Spence. Crucially, though, the next club has to be the right one and a place where he can play regularly.
A Championship Team of the Year member just two seasons ago, Spence has time and talent on his side. He only turned 23 years of age last week and given he is homegrown, remains an attractive proposition for clubs in spite of his failed Spurs spell. He only missed out on England U21s’ Euros triumph last month due to a knee injury.
But now he’s fit again, he is an asset with untapped potential. Wright – and many others – would love to see him get a chance at the highest level again. He certainly has the quality to make Spurs regret how his time in north London has panned out.