Former Tottenham Hotspur player Alan Hutton has told Football Insider that Djed Spence faces a ‘downward spiral’ at the club if he is not given game time or a loan move away soon.
Spurs signed the young defender in the summer for a reported fee of up to £20 million (Sky Sports), and Spence came with huge promise.
Spence enjoyed a breakout year with Nottingham Forest in the Championship last season, making 50 appearances and contributing three goals and five assists (Transfermarkt) as the club earned promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.
It was hoped that Spence may jump straight into the first team with Spurs and solve the problem of the right wing-back area in Antonio Conte’s side. It has since become apparent that the 22-year-old may have been brought in more as a player to develop for the future (CaughtOffisde).
Despite criticism of Emerson Royal and an apparent reluctance on Conte’s part to play Matt Doherty, Spence still finds himself down in the pecking order for his role.
He has made just four appearances for Spurs this season, all of which were as a substitute, with a combined total of 28 minutes on the pitch (Transfermarkt).
According to Hutton, something needs to change before Spence’s confidence suffers. He said: “It can affect somebody’s confidence and that can put you on a downward spiral which is not ideal for anyone.”
Hutton was full of praise for Spence, adding, “I think he is a fantastic player, I think he has a lot to give now. I saw a little glimpse of him against Nottingham Forest and he was running, trying to make things happen. The enthusiasm is there.
“When you look at Antonio Conte’s options, [Matt] Doherty and Emerson Royal, I do not think they have been setting the heather alight. So I do not understand why he is not getting a bigger opportunity.”
The solution is simple, with Hutton suggesting, “If Conte is deciding at this moment in time that he is for the future then let him go out and play games. Let him go and build himself up, his confidence and show the manager what he is missing out on.
“But I believe he has definitely got something to give at this moment in time. But Conte sees him day in day out and if he thinks he is not ready then that is his choice.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The Djed Spence situation is so frustrating for fans on the outside, so I dread to think how it is affecting the player himself. If Antonio Conte really isn’t ready to play him this season, I think he has to send him on loan to a Premier League club, but I’d much rather see him in a Spurs shirt.
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