Prem-linked Champ defender reveals desire to play in top flight

Jason Soutar
Premier League-linked Djed Spence celebrates his goal

Middlesbrough right-back Djed Spence admits that he hopes to play in the Premier League in the near future.

Spence is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest from Boro, where he has established himself as one of the top young talents in the Championship this season.

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He has been heavily linked with numerous clubs, with a report earlier this month claiming that at least 12 teams are ‘courting him’.

Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal are three Premier League sides that have been namedropped as interest in the right-back hots up.

With a move to the top flight a possibility, Spence has revealed it is an “ambition” of his to play in the Premier League.

“I always want to push myself and play with the best players and best team,” he said (via 90min). “Of course it’s an ambition of mine to play in the Premier League.

“I try to stay level-headed. I don’t read too much into it. At the end of the day, I’m just here to enjoy my football. I need to stay focused, have tunnel vision and play well on the pitch.”

After Forest beat Arsenal in the FA Cup third round, Spence was widely praised for his performance.

One person to praise the 21-year-old was Gunners legend, Ian Wright, who said it was one of the best performances he’s ever seen from a right-back in a long time.

“Coming from a player like Ian, it means a lot for him to say that,” Spence said. “I just want to keep improving and show everyone what I can do on the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher thinks Arsenal will have a “big problem” next season if they fail to finish in the top four this term.

With the Gunners sat in fourth, three points above fifth-placed Spurs, Carragher said: “I do feel the next 10 games of the season are absolutely massive for Arteta and Arsenal.

“And I’ve said how well they’ve done. The reason you’re in this position is because you’ve got no Europe. Now, even if you don’t make the Champions League, next year you’d be in the Europa League.

“And that would be a big problem for you in terms of getting back in the top-four. I think this is an opportunity right now that you have to take.”