Paul Robinson believes Antonio Conte did not approve Tottenham Hotspur signing Djed Spence
The English full-back was brought to N-17 last summer from Middlesbrough in a summer of change at the club. Spence spent the 2021-22 season on loan at Nottingham Forest, adding their return to the Premier League.
The 22-year-old has made just six appearances this season, adding up to a mere 43 minutes on the field. Conte has used the defender sparingly and Robinson believes there is a good reason for this.
Robinson goes on to add that he believes Conte did not sanction Spence’s arrival at the club. Given the lack of minutes, the former Spurs goalkeeper’s comments could hold a hint of truth to it.
“I question who sanctioned that transfer as a player that the manager clearly doesn’t want in his squad. He’s used him very sporadically, if at all this season.”
Conte is a notoriously outspoken manager who has his own way of running things. While he appears to have a good relationship with Fabio Paratici, the Italian has more than once called out the club’s need for a vision and direction. Robinson’s comments would suggest that the manager does not hold all the aces when it comes to recruitment.
“You wonder who made that signing and whether the manager was just given the player.”
Before we dismiss Robinson’s comments, there would be some proof to back him up. Tottenham lack a reliable option at right-back, with Emerson Royal struggling to impress and Matt Doherty being largely inconsistent.
The fact that Spence has not been afforded more chances and could indeed be loaned out this month shows he is not yet fully trusted by Conte. Whether the Italian truly believes the 22-year-old isn’t ready or is making a statement by leaving him out of games is debatable.
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Despite bringing in several players, Tottenham still look like a side that is crying out for transfers. While Conte can feel annoyed at being forced to work with players he does not prefer, it is a poor image for him not to be getting the best out of those he has at his disposal. After all, one can cry wolf for only so long.