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…
West Ham United are reportedly interested in a deal to sign Middlesbrough full-back Djed Spence, according to The Telegraph.
Spence has been with Boro since 2018, and has made 66 appearances in total for the Championship side, with 40 of those coming in the 2020/21 campaign, as they finished tenth in the second-tier standings.
A move to David Moyes’ side could tempt Spence though, with the Hammers finishing sixth in the Premier League table last term, as they qualified for European competitions for the 2021/22 season.
But West Ham won’t have it all their own way when it comes to trying to strike a deal to sign Spence, with both Norwich City and Everton also keen on landing his signature this summer.
We ask our Football League World writers what they make of West Ham’s rumoured interest in signing Spence this summer, and whether he’d be a good addition to David Moyes’ squad or not.
I’m far from convinced on this on for West Ham in all honesty.
For starters, the Hammers already have three decent options on their books at right-back at this moment in time, in Vladimir Coufal, Ben Johnson and Ryan Fredericks.
With that in mind, I don’t think that is really a position they need to prioritise strengthening at the minute, even with the added workload of competing in the Europe League next season, meaning I’m not sure they need to pursue another right-back such as Spence.
Indeed, even if they did, then the fact that the 20-year-old was not really close to being on top form for Middlesbrough in the Championship last season, means I’m not sure he could make the required impact for West Ham, with the step up in level to the likes of the Premier League and Europe next season.
As a result, I do think that David Moyes and co. would be better off looking at other targets to add to other positions for the Hammers before the new campaign gets underway.
This would be a decent signing for the Hammers.
Firstly, you’d have to say that Spence wouldn’t get in the first team now, as Vladimir Coufal has the right-back spot nailed down. So, the Boro youngster would move to the capital knowing that opportunities would be limited initially, but in the long-term it’s a move that could pay off.
In terms of his abilities, his pace and direct style makes him a threat down the flank and Moyes could be the manager to improve the defensive aspects of his game that still need working on.
Ultimately though, Spence will have a big decision to make. Whilst it would benefit him financially, not playing regularly could impact his development so he would need to think twice. From West Ham’s perspective, he would be a relatively low-risk move, so you can see why they’re interested.
Have any of these players scored against Middlesbrough?
He could be a solid addition to the West Ham team, both in the short-term, and the long-term.
Spence is only 20, but has shown that he’s more than capable of playing to a high standard in the Championship, having caught the eye with some strong performances for Middlesbrough during the 2020/21 season.
If contract talks with Vladimir Coufal are to stall this summer, then the Hammers could certainly benefit from adding another defensive option to their team.
It’s a smart move by the club to look towards the future as well with this potential deal, as Spence is unlikely to be the ‘finished article’ just yet, as he’s still early into his senior career.