Middlesbrough wing-back Djed Spence is dominating the summer transfer window’s headlines so far.
Spence helped Nottingham Forest win promotion to the Premier League last season, with his performances on loan at the City Ground proving Neil Warnock’s previous assessment of him wrong.
Yet, he remains a Middlesbrough player and it’s the Teessiders that are set to cash-in on his development under Steve Cooper in Nottingham.
Nottingham Forest would like to bring the 21-year-old back to the club ahead of their first Premier League campaign since 1999, yet it appears Tottenham will blow them out of the water with a jump to a top-four club.
Reports from The Athletic have outlined how Spence is in favour of a move to North London and, although a deal hasn’t been struck just yet, it looks likely.
We breakdown that pending transfer here:
Is it a good potential move?
You’ve got to say that, from Spence’s point of view, it has to be.
12 months ago, he was down the pecking order at Middlesbrough and about to be shipped out on loan to Nottingham Forest. A move to a Champions League club will have been a pipe dream, even for a wing-back that’s got unwavering faith in his own ability.
Tottenham will view Spence as an investment, with the potential to be a very good addition.
The England U21 international has years ahead of him and Antonio Conte will be hoping to shape him into his ideal right wing-back in the years to come.
You’ve also got to touch on Middlesbrough, who will expect a handsome fee for a player that was deemed surplus to requirements a year ago.
It’s got the potential to be a very good move for all parties.
Would he start?
Tottenham have Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal on the books still, so Spence is arriving with senior competition for his place in the side.
You don’t often see a player step out of the Championship into a top-four club and start games instantly, so the safe money would probably be on Spence’s role being a bit part one to begin with.
That being said, despite having Doherty and Royal – the latter is contracted until 2026 – on the books, Conte is chasing Spence, which suggests he’s not overly satisfied with that area of the pitch.
So, in time, we could see Spence starting for Spurs, depending how quickly he can settle into demanding surroundings.
Quiz: Can you name which club these 27 ex-Middlesbrough players are playing for now?
What does he offer?
Spence’s potential means he offers Tottenham a long-term option at right wing-back. Once he’s settled and if he can become the player we think he will, he’s going to be playing at the top level for the next decade.
In terms of his qualities, Spence is a dynamic runner and that’s proved to be particularly useful for Nottingham Forest on the counter in the Championship.
There’s a touch of work to do in terms of Spence’s output from wing-back. He only had six goal involvements in 42 appearances last season, yet the fact he got himself into so many promising areas means it’s only a matter of working on decision making to sort that out.
All in all, he’s a player for the here and now, as well as the future.