Several players starred on Friday for Tottenham Hotspur in their friendly against Motherwell; one player particularly excited fans, but they should temper expectations.
Before he even signed with Tottenham Hotspur, Djed Spence would be the next big thing, at least if you listen to Spurs fans. Spence has barely seen the pitch almost a half-season into his first with Tottenham, and the refrain from Antonio Conte is that Spence is one for the future. However, given the general lack of support in the fan base for incumbent right wing-back Emerson Royal, even the faintest glimmer of hope from Spence is enough to get some folks excited.
With Royal and Lucas Moura missing the friendly, Spence was on the pitch from the start and was in the action almost as quickly. Spence could have gotten an early goal with more composure, as his shot was blocked after receiving a long ball from Dejan Kulusevski.
Best Spence we have seen in a Tottenham top
What Spence did do well was make good decisions with the ball. Although he likely could have beaten his man more than he did, Spence was looking to make the simple play, whether that was a cross or a pass back to Japhet Tanganga at right back. Previously when we have seen Spence, his only thought has been to push forward as quickly as possible; on Friday, Spence showed he is learning Conte’s system and the requirements that go with it.
Beyond making the smart football play, Spence did a nice job connecting with Kulusevski. Of course, Dekki’s talent makes everyone around him look better, but Spence did his part to show out. Djed laid a nice ball across the goalmouth in the second half, but no one could get on the end of it.
Spence’s day ended with no goals or assists to his name, but he played sound enough to have caught the eye of his coach likely. What’s next for Spence is anyone’s guess.
It could still be that Spence will go out on loan in January, in which case he likely helped his cause. Or it could be that Spence starts to see minutes. Spence’s next step will be much clearer after the next friendly in two weeks.
Against Motherwell, Spence provided a few glimmers of hope in a good performance for the club, but is it one that should get fans excited? Maybe, but maybe not.