One observer has tipped a first-team Tottenham star to take a January exit into his own hands, and Antonio Conte may agree to a move unless he can work wonders during the World Cup break, per reports.
The mid-season break has allowed clubs the opportunity to work intensively with those not in Qatar. Tottenham have their fair share of representatives in the Middle East, including regular starters Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Rodrigo Bentancur, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Ivan Perisic, Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris.
However, one position within Antonio Conte’s squad without representation in Qatar is right wing-back.
All three of Emerson Royal, Matt Doherty and Djed Spence are available for Conte to run the rule over before domestic football recommences just before Christmas.
The EFL Cup Fourth Round will signal the return of domestic football before those who’ve already bowed out play their customary league fixture on Boxing Day.
The right wing-back position has been something of an enigma at Spurs this season. Emerson and Doherty have split time, while the left-footed Perisic has even deputised on the right side on occasion.
The only player to not get a proper look in is Spence who has racked up just three minutes of league action this term.
Spence was a £20m signing from Middlesbrough over the summer and arrived with a reputation as an explosive and marauding front-foot player.
Spence red flag went up early
Conte seemingly has reservations over the player, and previously sounded alarms when describing him as a club signing, rather than one of his own.
They claimed Conte is expected to work closely with Emerson, Doherty and Spence. If the manager isn’t convinced about the latter, a January loan exit could reportedly be sanctioned.
Responding to those suggestions, former Spurs defender, Alan Hutton, predicted Spence may well take a January exit into his own hands.
Tottenham holding Spence back?
When asked if Spence will push for a winter window switch, Hutton told Football Insider: “Possibly. I really feel for him.
“I watched him quite a bit last season and I’ve really liked what I’ve seen. He fits into that Antonio Conte way of playing.
“Obviously, he sees him day in, day out. Is there something he’s not happy with?
“He came on in the Forest game and he looked lively. He was running forward and trying to make things happen.
“If you’re not getting game time at that age, you have to go out and look to play football. The biggest thing about the whole situation is when he did first come into the club, Antonio Conte said something like he wasn’t his signing. He was a club signing.
“That, right there for me, is a red flag instantly. I do feel for him, I think he’s got a lot of ability. I believe he could push for that position there.“