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Spurs: Conte must finally unleash Djed Spence vs Sporting

Tottenham Hotspur are back in action at home to Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League this evening, with Antonio Conte’s side having the chance to secure their place in the knockout stages with a victory over the Portuguese outfit.

The north Londoners’ preparations for that crunch clash have been far from ideal, however, with the Premier League side facing a number of injury concerns at present, having also suffered defeat in each of their past two league games.

That fact should well see notable changes from the side that slipped up at home to Newcastle United on Sunday, with struggling wing-back Emerson Royal one man who simply must be resigned to the substitutes’ bench, having been criticised for his “dreadful performance” against the Magpies by journalist Josh Bunting.

His removal from the starting XI could well provide a chance for summer signing Djed Spence to finally be unleashed later today, with the £20m addition having been reduced to a bit-part role since joining the Lilywhites from Middlesbrough.

The former Nottingham Forest loanee had notably caught the eye as a result of his “swashbuckling” displays during his temporary spell at the City Ground last term, in the words of pundit Ian Wright, having scored three goals and provided five assists from his wing-back berth in 50 games across all fronts.

That form both in the Championship and in the FA Cup had seemingly piqued the interest of those in N17, although it has since proven a frustrating switch as far as the 22-year-old is concerned, with just three late substitute appearances for his new club to date.

The England U21 international was hardly given a warm welcome to the capital with Conte describing him as a “club” investment rather than the Italian’s own personal choice, with the former Chelsea boss having since shown little faith in the new recruit.

Amid Emerson’s struggles, however – and with Matt Doherty also unable to secure a consistent run in the side this season – the 53-year-old seemingly doesn’t have a lot to lose if he is to unleash Spence tonight, with it still somewhat bizarre to see the serial-winning coach’s reluctance to trust such an exciting asset.

As Spurs insider John Wenham previously stated, the £11.7m-rated machine is a player who “ticks a lot of boxes” with regards to what Conte is looking for from a wing-back, as the youngster provides athleticism and quality down the flanks.

Quite why his chance has not yet come is something of a headscratcher, although the meeting with Ruben Amorim’s side could be the perfect chance for the London-born starlet to earn his first start of the season.

Article title: Spurs: Conte must finally unleash Djed Spence vs Sporting

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