While on international duty with England under-21s in March, Spence spoke of his desire to play in the top-flight. He said: “I always want to push myself and play with the best players and best team. Of course it’s an ambition of mine to play in the Premier League. I try to stay level-headed. I don’t read too much into it.
“At the end of the day, I’m just here to enjoy my football. I need to stay focused, have tunnel vision and play well on the pitch.”
Being doubted by Warnock, who left Middlesbrough shortly after Spence departed on loan, is not Spence’s only setback. He was previously released by Fulham and has opened up on his difficult journey in football.
“It’s been hard. But I never worry, really. I know my ability, I know what I’m capable of. I’ve got a good family behind me that pushes me and mentors me,” he continued. “I’ve just got to keep moving forward and opportunities will always rise up. So I’ve got to be ready to take them.”