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Neil Warnock reveals why he sanctioned Djed Spence’s Middlesbrough exit

Middlesbrough allowed Djed Spence to depart in the summer on a season-long loan to Championship rivals Nottingham Forest.

Middlesbrough were under the guidance of Neil Warnock at that point and many have since questioned his decision to let Spence leave.

The right-back has gone from strength to strength at the City Ground and his performances for Nottingham Forest even earned him a call up to the England U21 side.

In his absence, Middlesbrough have found solace in Isaiah Jones. The wing-back has excelled under both Warnock and new boss Chris Wilder since breaking into the team.

In a recent interview with The Northern Echo, Warnock revealed why he sanctioned the exit of Spence back in September last year.

“Me and Djed had had a few run-ins, and we weren’t really seeing eye to eye,” said Warnock.

“There were a few things that had been going on in the background, and then suddenly you had Isaiah bursting onto the scene.

“If you remember, we actually played both of them in a couple of the early games of the season, but it quickly became obvious that it was going to be a straight choice of one or the other if we were going to be playing a system where one would be at right wing-back. My choice was to go with Isaiah.

“The question then was what was best for Djed? Was it best to leave him sulking on the bench because I wanted to give Isaiah a proper go? Or was it best to send him somewhere where he could play and enjoy himself a bit more?”

How to Jones and Spence compare?

Jones has sharpened up on his defensive capabilities so far this season, but certainly excels more than Spence in attacking situations.

The Boro man is often seen hogging the touchline, demanding the ball, taking on defenders and putting in deadly crosses.

In 36 games Jones has one goal and a whopping nine assists.

Nottingham Forest loanee Spence is perhaps more solid defensively and has the ability to get up and down the pitch more regularly.

In 35 games Spence has two goals and five assists.

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