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Opinion: Nottingham Forest need a back-up plan in case of Djed Spence recall – this Liverpool player could be the ideal replacement

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Nottingham Forest are flying right now under Steve Cooper, but a key part of their current success could end up exiting the City Ground when the January transfer window reopens.

It seemed like a strange piece of transfer business in the first place, but Middlesbrough’s willingness to let Djed Spence depart the Riverside on deadline day on loan to a league rival never made much sense.

The 21-year-old is by no means the finished article and he didn’t exactly nail down one particular position since being given a chance in Boro’s team a couple of years ago, but on his day he was an exciting wing-back or winger who had started the season reasonably well.

Quiz: 30 questions about some of Nottingham Forest’s best ever players – Can you score 100% correct?

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1) How many years did Viv Anderson spend at Nottingham Forest?

For whatever reason though, Neil Warnock was happy to see him leave for the season – but in doing that he helped to strengthen a direct rival in Forest.

Spence’s impact has been massive, especially in Steve Cooper’s system as both wing-backs are crucial to the Reds’ attacking play.

The youngster has played 11 times for the Tricky Trees and scored once, with his October performances earning him the club’s Player of the Month accolade – but how long does he have left in a Forest shirt?

Chris Wilder has now taken over from Warnock on Teesside and what with the club’s injury issues and the ex-Sheffield United’s man having a system which would surely get the best out of Spence, a recall in January seems inevitable and a Football League World exclusive is suggesting that will happen.

When that does occur, Cooper needs a back-up plan and Jordi Osei-Tutu cannot be relied upon after suffering a hamstring injury earlier in the season, so the loan market could be delved into once again.

Cooper has ties to Liverpool as a youth coach between 2008 and 2013 and there is one player at Anfield who could do with a loan spell in the EFL and that is Conor Bradley.

An attacking right-wing-back, Bradley is 18 years old but has already been capped five times by Northern Ireland, which just shows the talent we are dealing with here.

Bradley has made two appearances for the Reds in the EFL Cup, playing all 90 minutes against Norwich City before coming off the bench against Preston North End, but it is the under-23’s who he has featured for regularly and he’s been incredibly productive in the Premier League 2.

Six assists in eight matches have been racked up by Bradley (per transfermarkt) which proves he is a threat going forwards – something which is also the main strength of Spence’s game.

With Neco Williams as a deputy to Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez also able to cover right-back, Liverpool would surely be receptive to a potential loan deal for Bradley as it would definitely advance his development.

It did Harvey Elliott no problem last season at Blackburn Rovers and whilst they are completely different players, Bradley slotting into the Forest side on the right flank could be a great move for all involved.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Nottingham Forest need a back-up plan in case of Djed Spence recall – this Liverpool player could be the ideal replacement

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