Football can be a place whereby just one performance changes an entire opinion on a player, club or coach. From unknown to known in a matter of minutes thanks to an individual piece of brilliance, a great goal or simply punching above your weight.
Spence again made headlines thanks to his performance and goal in the fourth round against Leicester City. The east midlands derby saw Leicester embarrassed by their Championship counterparts at the City Ground.
Social media exploded with calls for Spence to be brought to Arsenal as soon as possible despite the majority of people having watched just the two televised FA Cup performances.
These displays ironically proved true the prediction of Fan Brands content editor and Middlesbrough supporter, from where Spence is currently on loan, Ross Jackson.
Speaking with Jackson after the initial links to Spence, he believes that when the cameras are on, this is when Spence comes alive.
“You’re probably wondering who that was who tore Gabriel Martinelli apart at the City Ground a few weeks ago if I think Spence is this bad, right? Suffice to say, I wasn’t particularly shocked to see him turn up to play a Premier League team in front of the TV cameras,” said Jackson.
“Blistering pace will get you so far in a league like the Championship, but as soon as you step up a level you need a lot more than that.
“It’s plainly obvious that the Arsenal squad is in desperate need of both quality and character, and Spence won’t offer you either.”
Spence doubled his goal tally for the entire season across all competitions with his goal against the Foxes. His last goal came in a 3-0 home win over Birmingham in October.
Two assists across the 25 Championship performances hardly show that of a serial goal creator.
This might seem very harsh and perhaps it is. It is just important for fans the consider that these solitary showings do not represent the full picture were Arsenal to commit to the reported £10 million fee that Boro would demand.
Furthermore, Arsenal’s right-back position is currently occupied by the brilliant Takehiro Tomiyasu. A player who stands in stark contrast to Spence regarding qualities for a role Mikel Arteta has shaped to enable a greater attacking commitment from left-back Kieran Tierney.
Adding an ultra-offensive right-sided full-back could destabilise the cultivated structure and system implemented by the Spaniard.
Considering Arsenal have 20-year-old Ryan Alebiosu who contributed with seven assists and a goal for the youth sides in the PL2 and the EFL Trophy, there is an argument this alternate style full-back is already at the club.
Why invest so heavily when the answer could be found within? Arsenal need to be smarter in the market and do their due diligence with every signing. Spence may be showing the cameras something, but reservations over the player’s consistency remain.
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