Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder has confirmed he will recall Djed Spence from his loan spell amid a major Covid-19 outbreak at the Riverside, as he spoke to Sky Sports News reporter Keith Downie.
The 21-year-old has been a key cog in Steve Cooper’s side’s machine this term as an ever-present figure on the right, operating both as a wing-back and a right-back after arriving at the City Ground on a season-long loan deal on transfer deadline day.
In just 18 league appearances for the East Midlands outfit, he has established himself as a fan favourite at Forest and will be a big miss for Cooper’s men with Mohamed Drager yet to feature for the club and Jordi Osei-Tutu out with yet another injury.
Quiz: Can you name which club Nottingham Forest signed these 20 strikers from?
This potentially leaves youngster Fin Back as the club’s first-choice option there for the time being, with Spence now set to return to the Riverside to compete with Isaiah Jones for a starting spot at right wing-back, though it remains to be seen whether Wilder will play either man on the left-hand side.
The form of Jones provided the Reds’ supporters with hope that he wouldn’t be recalled – but their worst fears have been realised and they may now have to look for a replacement in their quest to secure a top-six spot at the end of the season.
With this news emerging, how are the Midlands outfit’s supporters feeling? Are they not as heartbroken as they thought because they expected his return to happen? Crushed by this update?
We have taken a look at how the second-tier side’s fans have reacted on Twitter.
Spence been excellent but I’ll always maintain a stance that loaning other championship players need to have a future fee installed incase they bang.
Poor from Murphy #nffc
— Brummie Tricky 🌳 (@BrummieTricky) December 31, 2021
— SnowboardPete (@SnowboardPete) December 31, 2021
Spence leaving is a huge blow, absolutely huge – he’s been at the centre of our turnaround this season – what a player.
Praying we still have a chance of signing him permanently this window.
— Forest Fanzone (@forestfanzone) December 31, 2021
— William Eaton (@WS19Eaton) December 31, 2021
— Gaz Brown (@Gaz23Brown) December 31, 2021
— Davina (@davinabhakta) December 31, 2021
In my heart of heart, I knew Spence was going back to Boro but does it hurt any less ? Nope. Thank you for the half season @DjedSpence. I really hope, like everyone else, it is a case of 'see you soon'. #NFFC
— Sam (@Sam_Rowan) December 31, 2021
— TalkForest (@TalkForest1) December 31, 2021