Burnley are reportedly among several Premier League clubs showing an interest in highly-rated Middlesbrough prospect Djed Spence.
ESPN reported that the 19-year-old right-back is being targeted by no fewer than six top-flight sides, with the Clarets joined by Tottenham, West Ham, Brighton, Sheffield United and Southampton in throwing glances of admiration towards the teenager.
As per ESPN, ‘Boro manager Neil Warnock has compared the youngster with fellow right-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with the Championship side expected to demand at least £10m for the defender.
Spence has had a breakthrough season at Middlesbrough this term, featuring in 20 Championship games so far and scoring once, with five starts in the Teessiders’ last six matches (as per TransferMarkt).
He has averaged 1.2 successful tackles, 1.3 clearances, 0.8 interceptions and 0.8 successful aerial duels per game so far in 2019/20, with his attacking contribution highlighted by match averages of 0.8 successful dribbles and 0.8 key passes. [via WhoScored]
In contract to his fledgling youth, the two right-backs in Burnley’s first team squad are both in the latter stages of their careers. Matthew Lowton is 31 and still four years younger than team-mate Phil Bardsley, who has featured regularly in recent weeks due to Lowton’s injury.
The experienced right-back duo have posted far better defensive statistics than young Spence this season. The Burnley pair have both won 2.4 tackles per game, with Bardsley averaging 1.4 interceptions and 3.4 clearances per game while Lowton has match averages of 1.6 interceptions and 3.1 clearances (as per WhoScored).
Spence is still very raw (just 24 senior appearances) to warrant a fee of £10m, while defensively he is not yet at the same level as Burnley’s right-backs.
However, with the Clarets duo both in the veteran phase of their careers – Bardsley in particular – Sean Dyche could be looking to the future with his interest in the Middlesbrough youngster to take over from the ex-Manchester United man in the long run.
Should Burnley consider signing Djed Spence for £10m?
It would not be a calamity if Burnley miss out on the teenager but his youthful potential could certainly be handy to have given the advancing years of the right-backs currently at Turf Moor.
Burnley fans, would you like to have Spence at Turf Moor or is he overpriced? Comment below with your views!
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