Djed Spence impressed on loan at Nottingham Forest in the Championship last season and after helping them reach the Premier League now looks set to be playing in the top flight at Tottenham
Tuesday 19 July 2022 14:23, UK
Djed Spence completed a medical with Tottenham on Friday ahead of a £12.5m move from Middlesbrough.
The right wing-back was at Hotspur Way on Friday, after Spurs agreed a deal that could rise to a total in the region of £20m with add-ons last night.
"The 21-year-old made 46 appearances for Forest last season and there was a chance he might have joined Steve Cooper's side on a permanent deal this summer," said Sky Sports News reporter Mark McAdam.
"But we know Tottenham are desperate to sign him and we know he is desperate to play for Antonio Conte in the Premier League."
Should Tottenham land Spence, he would become their sixth major signing of the season, following the arrivals of Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison and loanee Clement Lenglet.
Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth:
"Tottenham fans must be thinking, 'what is going on in this transfer window' because normally they're used to waiting until the last week or deadline day to complete their signings.
"But there has been a real push from Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici to say, 'we want to get our business done early, we're now in the Champions League and a different market than we were in before.
"When you look at the six signings they've made, this is turning into Conte and Paratici's Tottenham. Signing a player like Ivan Perisic is a signing Conte would've pushed for, Fraser Forster is cover for Hugo Lloris.
"It feels like the loan signing of Clement Lenglet means he has another defender in mind. Conte could have one eye on Alessandro Bastoni's contract situation at Inter Milan.
"Maybe if he doesn't sign a new deal, they can swoop in for him next summer. Spurs really are building something."
Sky Sports' Dan Long:
By the start of last season, Djed Spence had already set to work on establishing himself as a mainstay of the Middlesbrough team. He had made 60 Championship appearances before the age of 21 and was impressing along the way.
But then, seemingly out of the blue, he was shipped out on loan to divisional rivals Nottingham Forest, with Isaiah Jones favoured at right wing-back by then-Boro boss Neil Warnock. It was at the City Ground he became hot property.
He wowed Reds fans with his attacking intent blistering pace, crossing ability and penchant for a shot from distance - he won Sky Bet Championship Goal of the Month in March - but also proved he is not a one-trick pony with some impressive defensive showings, too - for context, Forest kept 17 clean sheets in the 39 league games he played, excluding play-offs.
It was during the run to the FA Cup quarter-finals that he began to pique the interest of several Premier League teams, though, with Arsenal and Spurs among those said to be interested at the time.
There is, of course, plenty of room for improvement given his age, but it has to be said the loan spell could not have panned out much better than it did. He broke into the England U21 setup as a direct consequence, too.
In the wake of Forest's play-off final win over Huddersfield in May, Spence tweeted Warnock a photo of himself in the Wembley changing room, a cigar in his mouth, a scarf wrapped around his head the trophy at his feet, seemingly aiming a dig at his former manager.
"Well done, Djed - I did say you were Premier League or non-league," he replied. "Glad you listened and took my advice on board now go and enjoy your success."
Something that started out as career advice has become a reality, as Spence is set to start 2022/23 as a Premier League player.
Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes at 11pm on September 1.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.