Spurs: Cooper arrival could revive Spence

Tottenham Hotspur could have reportedly identified a possible successor to Antonio Conte in the dugout, amid recent links to Nottingham Forest boss, Steve Cooper.

What’s the latest on Cooper to Spurs?

According to the Daily Mail, the Welshman is said to have a number of ‘admirers’ in north London following his impressive work at the City Ground, with the Lilywhites eyeing potential managerial candidates amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the current man at the helm.

The report suggests that there has been ‘little progress’ with regard to securing an extension for Conte, with the serial-winning Italian – who took the job back in November 2021 – currently having just a matter of months left on his existing deal.

The piece goes on to add that while the Premier League side do have the option to trigger a new one-year deal for the 53-year-old, there is currently no ‘major appetite’ to do so, amid mounting belief that the former Chelsea boss could move on to pastures new this summer.

What would Cooper’s arrival mean for Spurs?

Turning to Cooper as a possible candidate could well be a wise approach as the 43-year-old has proven himself an “exceptional” manager in recent times, as per reporter Phil Blanche, after dragging Forest back into the top flight.

The former England youth boss – who guided the likes of Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho to World Cup glory at U17 level in 2017 – took over the Midlands side in September 2021 with the club having lost six of their opening seven Championship games, only to go on to secure promotion later that season via the play-offs.

The exciting coach has since enjoyed a steady start to life in the top tier and took the Garibaldi to the semi-final stage of the Carabao Cup, with achieving the main aim of avoiding relegation still a very real possibility.

Bringing the former Swansea City boss to N17 could prove a particularly astute move in helping to revive the fortunes of £20m summer signing, Djed Spence, with the Englishman having thrived under Cooper last season at Forest.

The “swashbuckling” full-back – as lauded by pundit Ian Wright – made the move to Nottingham on a season-long loan deal back in 2021 after falling out of favour at parent club Middlesbrough, going on to prove influential in the club’s promotion charge.

The England U21 international would score three goals and provide five assists from his wing-back berth in that impressive 2021/22 campaign, having emerged as an “important player” for Forest, according to Cooper (Football League Paper, 10/04/2022, page ten).

That standout form subsequently earned the youngster a move to Tottenham back in the summer, although the London-born speedster has been on the periphery under Conte since then, after being described as an “investment of the club” by his manager upon his capture – hardly a ringing endorsement.

After making only four league appearances in the first half of the campaign – totalling just three minutes – Spence was then shipped off on loan to Ligue 1 side Rennes in January, with Spurs recruiting Sporting CP man Pedro Porro in his place.

Having not been given the faith of Conte thus far, it remains to be seen what future the Englishman will have at the club if the current boss stays put, although the arrival of Cooper could well spark something of a rejuvenation.

Not that that alone should lead to the Pontypridd native’s appointment, although it would certainly be a potential positive of that decision.