Nottingham Forest wing-back Djed Spence has been a revelation since joining on loan, thanks to stand-out performances against Arsenal and Leicester – and he’s been linked with a big-money summer move
Today it was Tottenham Hotspur. Earlier this week it was Bayern Munich, before them Roma and Inter Milan.
It seems the list of clubs courting Djed Spence gets bigger as each week passes by.
It is a far cry from the beginning of this season when limited opportunities at Middlesbrough saw him shipped out on loan to Championship rivals Nottingham Forest.
Only five players have played more league minutes for Forest than Spence this term, and a series of impressive displays have suddenly alerted some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Spence is under contract at Boro until 2024, with the Teesside club cleverly having ensured he penned an extension prior to him heading to Forest.
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It is a pre-meditated move that looks likely to ensure Boro get a premium pay-out this summer.
Spence’s stock rose considerably after aiding Forest’s rise in the Championship standings under Steve Cooper after his appointment in September.
His showing in the third round win over Arsenal prompted Gunners’ legend Ian Wright to brand his performance as “unbelievable”.
Speaking to the Athletic, Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli was asked for his toughest test to date, to which he said: “Actually the guy from Nottingham Forest, Djed Spence, who I played against in the FA Cup.
“He is very strong, good on the ball, calm and quick. I was surprised; he is a really good player.”
Those kind of plaudits were rife following Spence’s next outing in the competition, as Forest swept aside holders Leicester City in round four.
Again Spence caught the eye and this time found the scoresheet, with a fine finish for the hosts’ fourth against the Foxes.
There is a feeling around the City Ground that Spence’s presence should be enjoyed while it lasts, because in all probability he will not be there next season.
That is not a slight on the pull of the two-time European champions, more a barometer of how far the 21-year-old has progressed.
Ask any Forest fan about Spence and they will likely wax lyrical about how he gets them on the edge of their seat.
And Cooper knows how lucky he is to have Spence at his disposal, as his side chase a play-off spot.
“I am very fond of him,” Cooper told the Athletic. “He is a sensible lad and you can tell that he cares a lot about the next game, about Forest – he loves Forest.
“You can see it in the way he plays.
“He is laid back, that is probably the right description of him. But when you get engaged in a conversation with him, he is a thoughtful character.
“We love having him. Our job is to keep trying to get the best out of him.”
Given his penchant for grabbing the limelight in the FA Cup, Spence will no doubt be geared up for Monday’s delayed fifth round meeting with Huddersfield.
And especially when you consider that the prize on offer is another City Ground date with a Premier League big boy, this time Liverpool.
If they can manoeuvre a win over the Terriers, then the visit of Jurgen Klopp’s side will no doubt be the perfect platform for Spence to further prove his credentials – and probably add another super club to his rapidly-growing list of admirers.