Southampton have been linked with a move for Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence recently and he could prove to be the next Kyle Walker-Peters in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
According to Football League World, both Southampton and Leicester City are keen on signing the 21-year-old defender this summer, although it remains to be seen whether or not a bid will be submitted before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
Spence has established himself as a regular at Middlesbrough in recent seasons and has 70 first-team appearances under his belt already, in which he has contributed two goals and no assists.
Although Walker-Peters has seen 18-year-old sensation Tino Livramento start ahead of him in each of Southampton’s Premier League fixtures so far this season, his signing has still proved to be a hugely successful one thus far.
The young right-back joined Southampton initially on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in January 2020 and quickly established himself as first-choice in Hasenhuttl’s side before making the move permanent at the end of the season.
In total, the 24-year-old has made 47 appearances for the Saints, scoring once and assisting four times, and he looks set to be a regular in this Southampton side for the significant future.
Both Walker-Peters and Spence are young, English full-backs who are capable of playing on either side of defence as well as further forward, so the similarities are clear to see.
Neil Warnock was full of praise for Spence last season, saying:
“If you look at one or two of the full-backs that are around now – the lad at Liverpool, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the lad at Manchester United from Palace (Aaron Wan-Bissaka) – they are all the same type as Djed.
“He does have enormous ability, and when you’ve got ability like that it’s criminal if you don’t get to the very top. But as I said to him in that first couple of weeks, he’ll only have himself to blame if he doesn’t get to the very top.”
Therefore, it seems as if Spence has a huge amount of potential and if Martin Semmens does bring him to St Mary’s in the near future, there’s no reason why he can’t have the same sort of impact that Walker-Peters has had during his time with the South Coast side.