Nottingham Forest manager gives verdict on Tottenham Hotspur’s Djed Spence being compared to Neco Williams
Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper has refused to draw a comparison between Tottenham Hotspur right-back Djed Spence and new signing Neco Williams.
Spence played a big role in the Tricky Trees’ promotion to the Premier League from the Championship last season when he was loaned out from Middlesbrough. It was evident that Spence is a great talent.
He notably showed his worth in last season’s domestic competitions when he came up against Arsenal and Liverpool. Forest were reliant on him and wanted to sign him permanently this summer.
However, Spence joined Spurs in a move that could cost us £20million with add-ons. Manager Antonio Conte quickly came out to say Spence was a club signing rather than a player he wanted to bring to N17.
This was perhaps a telling sign of what was to come. Spence is yet to start a game for us this season despite Emerson Royal being out for three domestic games earlier this campaign after his red card against Arsenal at the Emirates.
He has played in three matches – all off the bench as last-minute substitutes. Forest signed Williams from Liverpool this summer for a fee of £17million to fill the right-back spot, and he has been a regular fixture in Cooper’s first-team set-up.
The Wales international is yet to score or assist in his 12 games across competitions for his new club but he was very solid against Liverpool in his team’s 1-0 win at the City Ground this weekend. When asked to compare the two, Cooper said (h/t NottinghamshireLive):
“They are both attacking players, but I do not want to compare them. We are really happy with Neco. The exciting thing about Neco is he loves the growth and learning. He is a thinker. There are things he is always desperate to get better at.”
Cooper’s team did a wise thing by signing Neco but anyone who has followed his time at Liverpool would have known this summer that he isn’t of the quality required to start at Tottenham regularly.
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In Spence, we have a player for the future. The 22-year-old could get more chances in the team as the season goes on and it’s too early to give a verdict on his career.