Antonio Conte’s refusal to give Djed Spence a chance in the Tottenham Hotspur first team has been bizarre in the eyes of TalkSport pundit Perry Groves.
Spence has made just four appearances since joining the club for £20m in the summer, with all of them coming from the bench, and his future at the club looks far from certain.
Tottenham’s other right wing-backs have been far from impressive, with Emerson Royal receiving a lot of criticism throughout the season for his performances, raising further confusion over Spence’s lack of minutes.
Speaking on TalkSport, Groves questioned why Conte has been reluctant to use the 22-year-old.
He said: “He can’t make up his mind in the wing-back positions – who’s going to be his first-choice wing-backs. It was Ivan Perisic and Matt Doherty against Brentford. In the past, they’ve had Emerson Royal play and Ryan Sessegnon.
“It’s been strange that Djed Spence hasn’t had his chance because he’s perfect for the way Spurs play.
“There might be a bit of politics there where the reports are that he isn’t an Antonio Conte signing, which I can’t believe myself, because he wouldn’t have players come into the club without him saying so, so it’s a bit of a strange one.”
TIF Thoughts on Spence and Conte…
The Englishman was phenomenal for Nottingham Forest when they were promoted last season, which is what prompted Spurs to sign the defender in the first place, while he appears more than comfortable in a wing-back role.
With three goals and five assists last term, he has shown that he can provide strong output from that position, and we think he deserves a chance to show his worth.
A loan move in January may be good to prove to the club that he should be playing, but if the club lose such a big talent without giving Spence a fair shot, his transfer could be considered a significant error given that they will likely need to invest in his position if he leaves.