Leeds United have enquired about signing Djed Spence, according to reports…
“Teams in the Premier League and across Europe have been enquiring about the availability of Middlesbrough defender Djed Spence during this window,” revealed Sky Sports reporter Tom White (via Football Daily).
“It’s believed that Arsenal have made their interest known as they look to add competition for places at right-back. Leeds have also made an enquiry. The 21-year-old is actually a Middlesbrough player but is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest.”
The Mirror believe the young full-back is valued at around £10m after impressing against the Gunners during their shock FA Cup victory nearly two weeks ago.
As an attack-minded wing-back, Spence would be a really intriguing signing for Leeds and one that could well benefit manager Marcelo Bielsa tenfold.
The Argentinian head coach only really has one senior option on the right-hand side of defence in vice-captain Luke Ayling, who has missed games through injury this campaign. The likes of Stuart Dallas and Jamie Shackleton have had to deputise out of position, as a result.
After falling down the pecking order under Neil Warnock at Boro, the 6-foot defender has been a standout star under Steve Cooper at the City Ground, where he currently ranks as their fifth-best performer in the Championship.
As per WhoScored, Spence has averaged 1.6 tackles and interceptions per game, showing his defensive stability, but also a squad-high 1.8 dribbles and 0.8 key passes per game, which goes to show his influence in the final third, too.
Despite things turning south under the veteran boss, Warnock was once full of praise for the young starlet, comparing him to two of England’s top right-backs.
“You look at one or two or the others now, Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool and Wan-Bissaka at Man United, they are all that type,” he said. “He has got enormous ability and when you have that ability it’s criminal if you don’t get to the very top.”
His performance against Arsenal earlier in the month was described as an “incredible display” by football.london writer Connor Humm, so it suggests that he is more than capable of competing with the big boys, should a move ensue this year.
With a lack of solid options behind his star man, Bielsa could really do with Spence and at just £10m for a homegrown talent, it would be an absolute steal.