Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has urged rumoured Tottenham Hotspur target, Djed Spence to remain with the Championship club.
Spence has become a regular in Boro’s starting eleven since breaking into the team in December (transfermarkt) and his performances have seemingly caught the attention of Premier League sides.
There were reports during the January transfer window that Tottenham were tracking the young right-back (Evening Standard).
ESPN claimed last week that Spurs were the front runners for the 19-year-old’s signature and are looking to wrap up a £10million deal for the youngster when the transfer window opens in the summer.
Spence is hardly the only right-back that Tottenham have been linked with this summer but there is a feeling that the teenager will eventually end up in the Premier League one way or the other given the quality he is showing at Riverside stadium.
Mourinho is a long-term admirer having kept tabs on the defender since his release from Fulham, where the youngster was part of an academy set-up also containing the Spurs’ head coach’s son, Jose Mourinho Jr (ESPN).
However, Warnock has told the young defender that he needs to continue his development on Teesside for a while longer before thinking about joining a Premier League outfit.
Reacting the speculation over Spence’s future, the 71-year-old told Teeside Live after Boro’s defeat against Cardiff City on Saturday: “I think that talk is probably coming from his agent to be honest. I think he’d be silly if he went now.
“I remember having a chat with Nathaniel Clyne at Palace.
“Wolves wanted him, who were in the Premier League at that stage. I said to him you’re better off having another season and getting some games and experience under your belt.
“Djed is like that. And no disrespect to him, I don’t think he’s ready to go straight into a Premier League team.
“He needs more games under his belt, coming up against people like today, the wide lads for Cardiff, Hoilett, and Mendez-Laing.
“They’re difficult players and playing against people like that will give him the experience that he needs.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It is not clear if Djed Spence is close to the top of the list of our right-back targets this summer, or is a mere backup option in case we miss out on our main targets. Reports do indicate however that Jose is a big fan of the youngster and perhaps he might sway the club to focus their attentions on the Boro man this summer. One thing is for sure – Spence is certainly behind in his development compared to the likes of Max Aarons and Nathan Ferguson.
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