Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder has revealed that the renegotiation of financial terms regarding Djed Spence’s loan deal at Nottingham Forest was a key reason into letting the wing-back remain at the City Ground for the rest of the 2021-22 season.
The 21-year-old has featured heavily for Forest since signing on transfer deadline day in August and has developed into a key player in Steve Cooper’s system.
An agreement was always in place for Spence to remain with the Tricky Trees until the end of the season but Boro had the potential option of a recall when January came about.
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With Spence’s good form and also a major COVID outbreak at the Teesside club, there was an expectation that the youngster would head back to the Riverside but it emerged earlier this week that Spence instead would definitely be staying at Forest.
And with reporter Alan Nixon hinting that there is now an optional future fee in place for Spence to potentially make the move permanent at the end of the campaign, Wilder has confirmed that Forest have increased their finances on the loan deal to keep Spence around but stopped short of saying that a future potential agreement was in place.
“We’ve made the decision that Djed stays out there until the end of the season,” Wilder said, per TeessideLive.
“Financially, we had the ability to improve the contract financially that benefitted us, that allows us to maybe invest elsewhere and give us that opportunity to improve the standard of player we’re trying to get in to this football club by allowing Djed to go out.”
The form of Isaiah Jones at wing-back for Boro is also a reason for Spence staying where he is, but he definitely could have provided some major competition if he returned.
Forest though have clearly paid a bit more to keep the 21-year-old at the City Ground and it’s clear to see he’s progressing with a regular run of games.
Spence suits the role he is playing to a tee and either way Middlesbrough will be delighted.
He either returns to the Riverside next season as a better player for the club or his transfer value increases dramatically, which could in turn spark a bidding war over the summer but if Forest do have a fixed fee at the end of the season then they could have a real bargain on their hands.