‘Red flag’ – Hutton believes player could ask to leave Tottenham in January 

Alan Hutton believes Djed Spence could seek a loan move away from Tottenham in January in order to get some game time under his belt.

Spence’s lack of minutes in the first part of the 2022-23 campaign has surprised Spurs fans and neutral observers alike, particularly given Emerson Royal’s continued struggles to adapt to the right wing-back role.

Antonio Conte has maintained that the 22-year-old is continuing to improve and is getting used to the demands of what is expected of him at Tottenham (Evening Standard).

The Times reported last month the North London club might loan out the England Under-21 international in January.

Football.London’s Alasdair Gold claimed last week that Spence is expected to get opportunities to prove himself to Conte and his coaching staff in the behind-closed-door friendlies that Tottenham are set to play over the coming weeks ahead of the resumption of the campaign.

Hutton has now remarked that he believes the youngster is good enough to get opportunities for Spurs and suggested that the former Middlesbrough man should be playing football at his age.

When asked if Spence could push for a January move, the former Tottenham right-back told Football Insider: “Possibly. I really feel for him. I watched him quite a bit last season and I’ve really liked what I’ve seen. He fits into that Antonio Conte way of playing.

“Obviously, he sees him day in, day out. Is there something he’s not happy with? He came on in the Forest game and he looked lively. He was running forward and trying to make things happen.

“If you’re not getting game time at that age, you have to go out and look to play football. The biggest thing about the whole situation is when he did first come into the club, Antonio Conte said something like he wasn’t his signing. He was a club signing.

“That, right there for me, is a red flag instantly. I do feel for him, I think he’s got a lot of ability. I believe he could push for that position there.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Firstly, since we as fans do not get to watch the players train and do not know what happens behind the scenes, most of our opinions on matters like these are irrelevant. Perhaps Conte and his coaching staff have simply not been convinced by the 22-year-old in training.

However, having said that, the Italian has handled Spence’s situation poorly right from day one. There was no need for him to express publicly that he was a club signing. The fact that he did that suggests that it was likely Paratici who pushed for the youngster even though Conte was not fully sold on him.

Secondly, Emerson Royal has let him down time and again but the Spurs head coach has been undeterred in his backing of the Brazilian. I might be wrong about this, but from the outside, this looks like a powerplay by Conte to get the club to back his transfer recommendations over Paratici’s, with the 22-year-old being the unfortunate pawn in all this.

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