Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper addressing the growing concerns surrounding the potential recall of Middlesbrough loanee Djed Spence, in an interview with Nottinghamshire Live.
Nottingham Forest have benefitted massively from the loan acquisition of Spence this season, with the defender being one of Steve Cooper’s sides standout players so far.
He joined in the summer on a season-long loan and has started all but one of the club’s games in the league. The only game he missed was against his parent club Middlesbrough.
Spence was seen as surplus to requirements at the Riverside, with former boss Neil Warnock having him down the pecking order behind the likes of Anfernee Dijksteel, Darnell Fisher and Lee Peltier at right-back, and Isaiah Jones, Marcus Tavernier and Onel Hernandez if playing further forwards.
The youngster also was also publicly criticised by his then-manager, who labelled him ‘irresponsible’ and blamed him for the loss to QPR last season.
But with new boss Chris Wilder in charge, he is casting an eye over all players at the club and out on loan.
Worryingly for Forest, Spence does have a recall clause in his contract, and head coach Cooper was asked about the possibility of the 21-year-old returning to Middlesbrough in January.
“It’s possible. Not just with Djed, but with all the loans,” he confirmed.
“We won’t be the only club that will be slightly concerned about losing loan players.
“It’s a situation we’re not completely in control of – not just with Djed, but with others as well.
Cooper expressed that he wants Spence to stay, but the decision may be out of his hands.
“When a loan is working and a player is very happy, it’s a pity that it can stop. But we hope not; we hope not, for sure.”
Nottingham Forest travel to Reading on Saturday afternoon, where Spence will be hoping to put the speculation to one side and concentrate on the game.
Middlesbrough get their Chris Wilder era underway at the Riverside at the same time, where they face Millwall.