The rise of wingbacks in football has been stupendous. Players like Joakim Maehle in that position are expected to run up and down the flanks all match long. That requires an extreme level of energy, tactical know-how, and the ability to make an impact on both ends.
This is where a new name made a noteworthy impact in 2021-22. Djed Spence of Nottingham Forest, on loan from Middlesbrough, impressed one and all in a season that ended with Nottingham Forest getting to the promised land of Premier League.
With so much promise, comes a lot of transfer speculation and Djed Spence’s case was no different. The player’s representatives are in talks with the Spurs hierarchy for a transfer this summer and are said to be at an advanced stage. If Djed Spence completes his move to North-London, Spurs will have a wingback pairing for another decade in the form of Sessegnon and Spence.
🚨 Tottenham on the verge of total agreement with Middlesbrough to sign Djed Spence. Talks between Daniel Levy, Steve Gibson, player rep Scott Smith have produced a breakthrough. If all goes to plan medical expected in next 48hrs @TheAthleticUK #THFC #Boro https://t.co/Q2perk1hgP
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 14, 2022
The 21-year-old right-wingback was in phenomenal form throughout last season. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that several top European clubs were monitoring him this summer. Why is there so much interest in Djed Spence? There are several exciting reasons.
Djed Spence scout report
Djed Spence made his league debut in December 2019 with Middlesbrough. Spence had a memorable first month as he won the EFL Young Player of the Month for one goal and three clean sheets. Spence would go on to make 50 league appearances for Boro before his loan move to Forest.
That has turned out to be a spectacular decision as his stock had never been higher, hence the transfer interest from Spurs. Spence is impactful on both ends of the pitch in a truly action-packed style of play. The wingback has been able to use his supreme energy and willingness to do whatever the manager asks of him. Spence’s exuberance in joining attacks overloads the opposition every time. On the other side, Djed Spence is always present to try and win the ball back quickly.
Tottenham are set to complete Djed Spence deal, confirmed and here we go! He’s gonna sign a five year deal, medical tests ready – final details discussed now & contracts being prepared. 🚨⚪️ #THFC
Fee will be £12.5m guaranteed plus add ons, total package will be just under £20m. pic.twitter.com/mQLgq5ncpX
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 15, 2022
His reading of the game has increased sharply as he continued to put in dominant displays. However, in the FA Cup, the whole world sat up and took notice seriously. Facing a burgeoning Arsenal team, Forest won 1-0 with Spence putting in a masterful display. A month later, he would repeat the trick against defending champions Leicester City, with Spence getting a goal in the 4-1 mauling.
Moreover, Spence was absolutely solid on the defensive end of things too with Forest conceding only two goals in these two games. Therefore, it is becoming clear that Djed Spence can play regularly at the top level across Europe.
Read Also: Djed Spence joins the list of players from the Championship who will make the move up soon
Djed Spence stats
Djed Spence had featured 42 times in the Championship for Nottingham forest in the 2021/22 season. Spence racked up two goals and four assists, by far his most prolific season. Despite being asked to do two different kinds of work, Spence finished the season with a passing accuracy of 76%.
Djed Spence has shown that he is not averse to dribbles, attempting 4.17 per 90, succeeding almost half the time. Spence has steadily improved his game to the defensive end of things, Spence has been improved by 13 clean sheets with 1.48 tackles and 1.56 interceptions per 90. The following table further illustrates just how much better Spence is playing in 2021-22.
|Djed Spence stats in the Championship|
|Goals P90||Shots P90||Assists P90||Chances created P90||Accurate passes P90||Crosses accuracy P90||Dribbles accuracy P90||Tackles won P90||Interceptions P90|
Data from Soccerment
One of the most standout figures above is how much involved Djed Spence has gotten in the passing sequences. Spence loves to get on the ball, his teammates want to feed him in dangerous areas where he can wreak havoc. Moreover, Steve Cooper gave him the self-confidence to express himself and enjoy his game. Cooper’s man-management style had been an underrated factor in Spence’s success. His performances caught the eye of his parent club, Middlesbrough. However, his performances had been so good that he has outgrown his parent club too!
Can Djed Spence follow the path of Arnaut Danjuma and star for a European top-flight team? It is possible
Djed Spence Spurs transfer news?
It is fair to say that Djed Spence deserves his breakout transfer to Tottenham Hotspur. There was heavy interest in the wingback from clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs, and Leeds United. Bayern Munich were also linked with Spence, who right now have no proper right-wingback. Daniel Levy alongside Antonio Conte have been quick this transfer market with signings like Yves Bissouma and Richarlison, and Djed Spence has been no different.
— FootTheBall FC (@FootTheBallFC) July 13, 2022
Though he is young and unproven in any top-flight league, the lure of Djed Spence is certainly strong. Therefore, it will not be a surprise if Spence does leave Boro in this transfer window eventually. He has a contract until 2024 so the hopes of a cheap deal will not be easy for Spurs. Meanwhile, Spence has continued grabbing the headlines for all the right reasons.
He is young, hardworking and can improve any team he chooses to join. Nottingham Forest will themselves be in the Premier League next season, so Spence could even stay and test himself against PL opposition for a year. However, it is more likely that Spence uses this momentum to catapult himself into a big club soon.
*This article is sponsored by Xebia, a pioneering Software Engineering and IT consultancy company, started in Netherlands. Xebia in Netherlands proudly supports the Dutch national football team.