One of Nottingham Forest’s best performers this season has been Djed Spence, the right-back on loan from Middlesbrough. He has been playing so well that he has attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, and even Bayern Munich in recent weeks. The 21-year-old has played 29 times till now in the EFL Championship.
Being a full-back, it would be very useful to look at the passing dashboard of Djed Spence. He completes around 35 passes per game at a pass accuracy of 77%. He has around 0.12 assists per 90, and in fact, he is outperforming his expected assists (xA) output of 0.09 assists per 90. He has been the best player at making progressive runs, having completed 4.45 per 90 so far this season. He completes around 2.28 crosses per 90. He ranks in the 85th percentile or greater for through balls per 90 as well as smart passes per 90.
As a right-back, Djed Spence has been very much involved on the right-hand side of the pitch. He has been most effective in the midfield and the final third, but particularly in the midfield. It is on the right wing that he has made his passes, progressive passes, passes into the final third, as well as passes into the opposition’s penalty area. He has completed 62 crosses from the right flank. Until this point in the season, Djed Spence has won 29 tackles and 51 interceptions for Nottingham Forest.
Djed Spence has been a major threat producer for Nottingham Forest this season. In fact, as per the xT timeline shown above, he has consistently created an xT value of 0.5 or more throughout various stages of the game. His highest xT value this season has come just before the 90th minute, meaning he has been the go-to player for chance and threat creation for Nottingham Forest at the clutch. And being a right-back, his passes have been most threatening on the right flank in both midfield and the attacking third. Like almost all full-backs, he has been making several overlap runs on the outside, providing width to Nottingham Forest’s attack.
Djed Spence has been playing consistently well enough for Nottingham Forest this season, and he has been attracting interest from Premier League teams and even clubs from abroad. However, the EFL Championship standards are lower than those in the Premier League, and Spence will need to impress against big teams whenever he gets the chance to do so.