View: Djed Spence facing Tottenham nightmare after just three months
Djed Spence joined Tottenham in the summer and it was seen as a fantastic bit of business for the club and a great move for the player.
After shining for Nottingham Forest in the Championship and helping them earn promotion to the Premier League, Spence was a wanted man and opted to join Champions League side Spurs ahead of others.
The wing-back system that Antonio Conte adopts seemed perfect for him, while the fee was reasonable enough that there would be limited pressure on him to succeed immediately.
But just three months into his Spurs career and less than two months into the Premier League season, it’s looking more and more like a nightmare as time goes on.
Spence is yet to start a single game for Tottenham this season and his only appearance at all came as an injury time substitute in the club’s win over former side Forest at the City Ground, where he was applauded by the home fans.
It was seen by some as a potential integration process for 21-year-old Spence, who has never played at the Premier League level never mind in the Champions League. But he needs opportunities to be allowed to develop.
Emerson Royal seems to be the first-choice player in his position despite struggles with his own form, while Spence is likely competing with Matt Doherty for the understudy role for when he isn’t available.
But on Saturday evening Conte surprised many when despite leaving Royal out of the team and on the bench, it wasn’t Doherty or Spence that was starting but instead Ivan Perisic moving over to the right instead of his usual left-wing role.
It was a sign that Conte doesn’t yet trust Spence, because if he won’t start him in the team when the first-choice option is out and they’re playing the bottom of the league then when would he?
It was clear as day that Conte didn’t want him when he said as much in an interview during pre-season, referring to Spence as a club signing rather than his own personal request.
It’s obviously early days and things can always change relatively quickly, but as it stands Spence is surely questioning his decision to move and leave the foundations of first-team, regular football with Forest and join a big club that didn’t necessarily want him.
In other Tottenham news, the club could be made to realise their transfer blunder in Marcus Edwards sooner rather than later