This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Djed Spence has proven to be an exceptional signing for Nottingham Forest so far since he arrived on loan from Middlesbrough at the end of the summer window.
The defender has slotted straight into the side at the City Ground and been performing very well for them in a right-wing-back role since Chris Hughton departed the club.
Under Steve Cooper, Spence’s performances have been very consistent so far. He is clearly enjoying his football and is thriving under the expectation of being first choice week in week out at Nottingham Forest.
Considering Neil Warnock has now admitted that Middlesbrough are in need of more bodies with them still looking into signing free-agents, it could now be seen as something of an oversight from him to allow Spence to leave the club.
So, with Spence in such good form for Forest, we asked our FLW Writers whether they feel it was a mistake for Warnock to allow the defender to join Nottingham Forest on loan…
Yes. It was a very strange decision. Spence will have one year left on his contract at the Riverside when he returns to his parent club at the end of the season.
It seemed like the 21-year-old was keen for an exit in the summer transfer window and Warnock did not want to facilitate a demotivated player in the dressing room. That is fine.
But do not strengthen a second tier rival in the process, Boro should have looked abroad for a temporary destination for Spence with Forest just one point behind them as Spence looks to leapfrog his parent club after the international break.
When a 34-year-old Lee Peltier is stopping a 21-year-old improving player getting first team minutes there are questions to be asked.
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I think so yes, and to be honest I thought exactly the same at the time when the deal was announced.
It was bizarre to not only see Spence leave but also for him to leave for a divisional rival.
He’s now showing them exactly what they are missing and I think they will be somewhat kicking themselves.
It just goes to show you that if you put faith in a young player, the likelihood is that there confidence will rise and they will go on to thrive.
Warnock will certainly live to rue this mistake, I feel.
This was a big mistake from Warnock.
Although Lee Peltier can defend well at right-back and it would have made sense to send Spence out on loan to get more regular first-team football, they have offered very little going forward in a selection of their games this term and could have done with the 21-year-old to give them something different out wide.
If he continues to impress at the City Ground, Middlesbrough fans may not even see him in action after being linked with a move to the Premier League in the summer, so all that time they spent developing him may have been wasted.
They also loaned him out to a side who already had quite a few right-backs at their disposal, including Jordi Osei-Tutu, Carl Jenkinson, Fin Back and Mohamed Drager.
Luckily for the Teesside outfit, he’s playing quite regularly and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Forest finishing much higher than Boro this term – and would probably be partly due to Spence and the promise he brings.