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Arsenal eyeing January deal for Middlesbrough defender

Arsenal are looking into a winter deal for Middlesbrough defender Djed Spence, The Mirror’s John Cross reports.

The 21-year-old joined Nottingham Forest on loan in September last year, and he has since made 20 appearances from the right-back or right wing-back role.

One of those outings came in the stunning FA Cup third win over the Gunners where he was hugely impressive with his overlapping runs and ability to win regular duels.

It is now reported that he has left a good impression on the Gunners on the back of that performance. The club are exploring the possibility of signing him this month.

Middlesbrough value him at £10 million. Even if an agreement is finalised, he could remain on loan at Forest as he can’t play for three clubs in a season, as per FIFA rules.

The youngster made three appearances for his parent side before his temporary switch to City Ground.

Our view:

Spence was outstanding in the FA Cup third round tie. He won 12 of his 14 ground duels while registering four interceptions and two tackles in the progress.

He also managed six take-ons and was fouled on four occasions. Nuno Tavares, Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli all struggled to cope with his pace and movement.

While the Gunners were poor against Forest, Spence definitely took the opportunity to impress manager Mikel Arteta with a sublime all-round performance.

That display alone can’t be used to judge him, but the Gunners believe he can be a potential star of the future while providing back-up to Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Hector Bellerin could be sold after his loan stint while Calum Chambers could also leave when his contract expires at the end of the current campaign.

This would leave Cedric Soares as the only right-back specialist behind Tomiyasu. The Portuguese’s displays have been largely underwhelming this season.

Judging by the recent transfer policy, the club are eyeing young and promising players. Spence perfectly suits their requirement to act as Tomiyasu’s understudy.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com

Read: Arsenal ready to offer January move to Arthur Melo.

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