Former Leeds United winger Noel Whelan has urged Djed Spence to seek a loan move in January in order to get some game time under his belt.

Since his £20m switch from Middlesbrough in the summer (Goal), Spence has only had a few minutes of action this season, coming on as a late substitute in the matches against Nottingham Forest, Everton and Manchester United (Transfermarkt).

The 22-year-old’s lack of minutes has been particularly surprising, given that Matt Doherty had struggled for fitness during the first couple of months of the campaign.

Meanwhile, questions continue to be asked of Emerson Royal, who has not provided the cutting thrust that Conte’s men need from the right-wing back role (talkSPORT).

Spence insisted last week that he is continuing to work hard to improve and is focused on taking opportunities when they are presented to him (Football.London).

However, Whelan believes that the England Under-21 international will be feeling demoralised at the lack of game time this season.

The pundit told Football Insider about Spence: “He’s not getting a look in at the moment. He was bought in the summer to be the right wing-back they needed, and it’s got to be demoralising for him.

“He was probably thinking that he was going to be starting – but he hasn’t featured at all.

“I think he’s got to go out on loan, but is he going to be another Jack Clarke situation? They sent him out on loan every season hoping he would make that step up. It didn’t work out.”

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We as fans do not get to see the players train and so, we have to trust the judgement of Conte and his coaching staff, who seem to think that Spence is not yet ready.

However, part of me does wonder if the Italian’s unwillingness to try the 22-year-old is partly down to power dynamics, with right-back being a Paratici signing.

Perhaps, Conte wants to send a message to the Tottenham hierarchy that some signings are not quite ready to play in his system, just so that he has more of a say in future transfer moves.

Some might feel that is too cynical but the fact that the Italian continues to play Emerson Royal over Spence fills me with suspension that it is simply a powerplay between Paratici and Conte.

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