Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has admitted that although Djed Spence is happy to stay at the club for the rest of the 2021/22 campaign, the defender’s future is out of his control.
Spence’s parent-club Middlesbrough have the option to recall him from his loan spell at the City Ground next month when the transfer window opens.
The 21-year-old was forced to watch on from the sidelines yesterday as Forest faced Middlesbrough in the Championship.
The Reds were unable to seal a positive result in Spence’s absence as Boro sealed a 2-0 victory in-front of their own supporters.
An own-goal by Ryan Yates gave Middlesbrough the lead in the first-half before Andraz Sporar doubled his side’s advantage following the break.
Spence will be looking to help his side get back to winning ways on Thursday when the Reds host Huddersfield Town.
Ahead of this clash, Cooper has shared his thoughts on Spence’s situation at Forest.
Speaking to the Nottingham Post about the right-back, Cooper said: “He’s Middlesbrough’s player of course – like we have players out on loan as well.
“They are in control.
“At the moment, we’ll be getting ready for Huddersfield in a few days, then Barnsley after that, and then we’ll see.
“I won’t focus on what can and can’t happen, because then I’m not thinking about the team for the next game.
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“We like Djed, he’s done well and he seems happy.
“Until there’s a change in that, we’ll just keep working with him.
“He understands the situation and that not everything is in his control.
“We know that as well, because that’s what happens when you bring in loan players.
“But he’s happy, he’s happy for sure.”
When you consider that Spence has been a stand-out performer for Forest this season, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Middlesbrough do indeed decide to bring him back to the Riverside Stadium.
Given that Jordi Osei-Tutu is currently unable to feature for the club after suffering yet another injury setback earlier this month, Spence’s departure next month will leave Forest short of options at right-back.
Keeping this in mind, Cooper simply has to draft up a list of replacements for Spence as a failure to do so could have a negative impact on Forest’s fortunes in the Championship.