Djed Spence clears the air about Antonio Conte’s ‘club signing’ comment after his Tottenham Hotspur transfer
Tottenham Hotspur signed Djed Spence for a transfer fee of £12.5million plus £7.5m in add-ons from Middlesbrough this summer. That was quite a show of trust in the 22-year-old considering his lack of top-flight experience before the move.
However, the buzz around his arrival was toned down to some extent when manager Antonio Conte bizarrely came out and clarified that the club decided to sign the England U21 international, not him. He said (h/t Athletic):
“Spence is an investment of the club. The club wanted to do it. I said okay, this player is young but he showed he can become a good, important player for us.”
It was as if he was washing his hands off a potential situation where Spence’s career at Spurs doesn’t pan out very well. It isn’t fair to take such comments in a negative way as he did state that he saw potential in Spence.
However, perhaps it was just a forecast of what was to follow in the first few months. Spence has a grand total of two minutes in Premier League football so far. Nevertheless, the right-back himself has addressed this situation.
He claims he is yet to read those comments and doesn’t make much of it. His focus lies on bettering his game. Spence said in an interview (h/t the Independent):
“I didn’t really see it (the club signing comment). I don’t really pay attention. I just train, you know, pay attention to my football and train hard. Let the rest do the rest obviously.”
He came on in a 4-1 win against Nottingham Forest earlier this season as a last-minute substitute. Spence recently made his home debut as he was once again subbed in close to the full-time whistle, this time in a 2-0 win over Everton.
He has been an unused substitute in all four of our UEFA Champions League group-stage games so far this season. It was thought that he would see some playing time when Emerson Royal picked up a red card in our loss against Arsenal.
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However, he didn’t start against either Brighton & Hove Albion or Everton since then. It is unlikely that Conte trusts him tomorrow against Manchester United at Old Trafford – given how he has refused to play him regularly in less important games than that.