Tom Edwards arrival gives Huddersfield Town chance to repeat Jaheim Headley trick
The Terriers have used Sorba Thomas and Brodie Spencer as their right wing-back and right-back in pre-season but the Stoke City man’s loan may allow them to send Spencer out
Brodie Spencer is unquestionably one of the brighter talents in a promising crop of Terriers academy prospects – but of those to have already tasted first-team football he’s also the youngest.
The Northern Ireland international only turned 19 two days after Huddersfield Town secured their Championship status for another season with their win over Sheffield United in May. That makes Spencer five years younger than Rarmani Edmonds-Green’ three years younger than Scott High and Ben Jackson; two years younger than Jaheim Headley, Josh Austerfield and Kian Harratt; and a year younger than Loick Ayina, Brahima Diarra and Pat Jones.
We’ve been so exhaustive in providing context there for a reason. Jones aside, all of the other players we have named above have been sent out on loan to get before returning to the John Smith’s Stadium ready to step up and play a bigger part. Most have had more than one loan spell.
So it shouldn’t be seen as a condemnation of Spencer if he is now sent out to gain a similar level of experience. He has already played more for Town’s first team than any of his colleagues had at his age, and the talent and athleticism are clearly there; he just needs a bit of polish to make him Championship ready.
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Spencer has been essentially fine in his five competitive appearances to date, but given the last of those was in November, he was playing for a side that was struggling to get to a passable standard. In that context, the slightest mistake can turn to disaster, and Spencer found that to his cost. There were no major balls-ups: just little lapses in positioning and judgement that the likes of Ben Brereton Diaz ruthlessly exploited.
The right-back has been given a further chance to impress Neil Warnock this summer, and again he has been fine…no catastrophes, but also no major announcement that he was ready to once again fill Ollie Turton’s boots in the second tier..
Spencer’s game does not need a huge amount of refinement, and a few months of competitive football against experienced opponents could be enough to get him to that level – just like Headley got at League Two Harrogate in the first half of last season before becoming a key player for Warnock soon after his return.