Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder is set to stun Nottingham Forest in January and recall Djed Spence.
According to The Sunday Mirror (28/11; page 67), Wilder has already had a discussion with the club’s board to get Spence back in January.
Forest travel to Middlesbrough on Boxing Day and Spence won’t be able to play against his parent club.
The Reds have two home games after that and they could be Spence’s final outings in a Forest shirt.
A right-back, Spence has shone in the right-sided wing-back role since Steve Cooper checked in at the club.
He joined on loan back in the summer after falling down the pecking order under former Boro boss Neil Warnock.
Spence has made 14 appearances for the Reds, scoring once and claiming one assist during his time at the City Ground.
He has endeared himself to the Forest faithful and the thought of losing him doesn’t bear thinking about in the eyes of some.
Forest aren’t blessed with lots of options at right-back. Mohamed Drager is yet to make an outing, whilst Fin Back is still pretty raw.
None of that is of any concern to Wilder though and he watched Spence in action against Preston prior to taking the Boro job.
Forest need backup plan should Spence get recalled
The thing with Cooper’s style of play is that it takes a certain sort of full-back to operate in such a setup. There’s evidence to suggest that neither Drager nor Back would have the same impact as Spence.
With that in mind, Cooper might need to compile a shopping list ready to give Dane Murphy should Wilder give him a call in January.
Boro have injury concerns over Anfernee Dijksteel and Darnell Fisher, twisting their arm into a recall for Spence.
One glimmer of hope could be the form of Isaiah Jones. He has been in blinding form at right wing-back under Wilder and that might help Forest keep Spence.
As per the report though, it now looks unlikely and Forest have to prepare for the worst.