Arsenal eye young Championship right-back
Arsenal are interested in acquiring Nottingham Forest’s on-loan right back Djed Spence, according to English news outlet Mirror.
The 21-year-old first caught the eye of the supporters when he starred against the Gunners side in the FA Cup third round.
He was one of the instrumental figures in Steve Cooper’s side which caused a massive upset.
This was absolutely obscene from Djed Spence, still didn’t even shock me#NFFCpic.twitter.com/2RUOi6rpxw
— Callum Castel-Nuovo (@callumcasteln) January 10, 2022
The London-born right back spent his youth career with Fulham, before departing for Middlesbrough in 2018. In summer 2021, he was then snapped up by Championship outfit Nottingham.
Despite just being 21, Spence has 89 appearances at the senior level.
Coming back to North London, the need for a right-back is pretty genuine in Mikel Arteta’s team.
Despite Takehiro Tomiyasu being an astute signing last summer, the lack of a good backup to him is the real problem.
Calum Chambers isn’t really a right back while Cedric was never a long-term option. Ainsley Maitland-Niles has departed for Italian side Roma, and his spell in London appear likely to be over.
GOOD MORNING YOU REDS♥️🔴⚪️! pic.twitter.com/jZXV2tKAzT
— Djed Spence (@DjedSpence) January 10, 2022
Hector Bellerin, who’s on loan at Real Betis, has a similar situation.
Thus, signing a right back should be a priority in the summer for the English side, currently sitting fifth in the Premier League.
The report further suggested that Italian giants Roma and Inter Milan are also watching developments closely as the 21-year-old has caught the eye with his recent performances.
Thus, technical director Edu must act fast if they are to land the coveted English defender.
Any deal in the current window is unlikely but if the club do pursue it, the youngster would have to be loaned out immediately, as Arsenal would be his third club in a season, which is legally not possible.
Djed Spence is the only right back I’ve seen get the better of Martinelli all season.
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) January 16, 2022
Even Gunners legend Ian Wright was awed by the quality Spence possesses. Speaking in Ringer FC’s Wrighty’s House Podcast, he said, “That was one of the best right back performances I have seen for a very long time. A very long time.”
“If we are talking about right-backs performing at an unbelievable level, we’re talking Reece James and Trent (Alexander-Arnold).
The former striker continued, “But I have not seen a combative, technical, swashbuckling performance like that for a very long time.”
Writer’s opinion: I would be more than happy if we end up signing Spence. He has already shown that he’s not afraid, no matter how difficult the task might be ahead.
Djed Spence Dashboard this season pic.twitter.com/Hbv0l55grG
— • (@louorns) November 16, 2021
The 21-year-old has that “never say die” spirit which I liked a lot when he played against us in the FA Cup. On top of it, he has great technical skills too.
Which makes him an almost perfect player to recruit. At 21, he also fits the club’s recruitment policy of signing players who have their best years in front of them.
Spence would add unpredictability to Mikel Arteta’s team at the right side of the pitch. We will have a different weapon to unveil, and that will make Arsenal a tough opposition to contain.
Sign him this very minute !
He’s defensively solid but what threat does he offer at the other end of the pitch? I didn’t see any quality attacking contributions he made. Do we really need our own version of Wan Bissaka? Don’t think so. Modern fullbacks in the mould of Trent, James or cancello should be our targets.
agree with your assessment TH14…now if we couldn’t secure the services of this particular type of RB, as you’ve suggested, I wouldn’t mind scouring the Championship in the hopes of acquiring a depth piece on the cheap for some short-term coverage, which may or may not be the player in question…with this in mind, it was a bit disconcerting to read Guy’s post below which included excerpts from a rather scathing account of Spence on Football London…regardless, I’m with you about raising our expectations when it comes to recruitment, as we’ve settled for far too long
Sign him and get rid of Cedric
Not only the Arsenal match, he’s been good all season for Forest.
Yes!!! Sign him up! He was a nightmare for us.
i could definitely get behind this signing!! he was immense against us!
I saw the young lad, he gave Arsenal dreadful time and he runs fast with the ball in his feet.
Great prospect. Runs well and fast with the ball. Whilst not yet a full on attacking fb that pace will frighten teams. Not established so happy to play second fiddle to Tomi. If we have £10m to spare (and that’s a big IF) we could do a lot worse.
Get him and using him in midfield. Solid defensively and has a mean recovery time…DM sorted…IJS
I’ve just read this on Football London from a Middlesbrough insider:
“Having been handed his chance in the Middlesbrough team by Jonathan Woodgate, Spence looked very promising, and his pace was causing Championship defences all sorts of problems.
“However, as soon as news of Tottenham’s interest in him surfaced, Boro never saw that promising player again.
“His attitude looked off and there were countless occasions when he was caught moseying back to the halfway line like he was on a lazy Sunday morning jog than actually busting a gut to help out his teammates.
“You’re probably wondering who that was who tore Gabriel Martinelli apart at the City Ground a few weeks ago if I think Spence is this bad, right? Suffice to say, I wasn’t particularly shocked to see him turn up to play a Premier League team in front of the TV cameras.
“Blistering pace will get you so far in a league like the Championship, but as soon as you step up a level you need a lot more than that.
“It’s plainly obvious that the Arsenal squad is in desperate need of both quality and character, and Spence won’t offer you either.”
Interesting comments from the editor of the B’rough fanzine…
He wouldn’t be a bad idea but he’ll need a lot of coaching, he needs to add vision to his pace, premier league is different from championship,
I’m sure he’ll gladly stay as backup and play during cup matches.
I dare to say Spence is a raw diamond. Rare to see such a talent in the championship. What an excellent performance by him in the FA Cup. Extremely strong in every close combat.
Sign him ASAP. He is a player for the future, that’s is for sure.
Feels like one to think about for the summer maybe, but there are a number of variables, a couple of which could be why Boro loaned him to a Championship rival in the first place and note the change of Manager there since that loan decision