‘Trust me, I know’ - Ex-Newcastle striker Nile Ranger sends emotional warning to Tottenham Hotspur youngster

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Nile Ranger's career spiralled out of control once he left Newcastle United and, at 32, he is now without a club for two years

Ex-Newcastle United misfit Nile Ranger has sent a brutal reminder to Djed Spence following his Leeds United exit.

Prison spells, legal battles and discipline issues became synonymous with Ranger throughout his footballing career. While not officially retired, the 32-year-old has not played for almost two years, having last featured for National League outfit Boreham Wood in the FA Cup.

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Newcastle took a punt on him as a youngster despite his controversies and, initially, he impressed. Ranger scored 15 at under-18 level and seven for the reserves to win the Wor Jackie Award - given to the best young player that year - in 2009.

Six goals in 11 games for England under-19s led many to believe Ranger had turned a corner and the Magpies had a talent on their hands. Despite playing a bit-part role in the club’s Championship-winning campaign, he would soon spiral out of control.

An explosive exit in 2013 came less than months after Ranger admitted to assaulting two police officers. Manager Alan Pardew admitted he was losing patience with the striker and, weeks later, the fans turned on Ranger for hitting out online after the players were booed during a 2-1 defeat to Reading.

The former prospect tumbled down the divisions as his private life continued to plague any progress on the football pitch. Ending back in prison for fraud seven years ago marked the point of no return for a player once billed as a future talent.

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By contrast, Tottenham Hotspur defender Spence has not run into bother with the law but faces a crossroads in his career. Leeds thought they pulled off a coup by loaning the player in the summer but cut that move short last month.

Reports have suggested Whites manager Daniel Farke ran out of patience with the right-back - now shipped out to Serie A - for his timekeeping and poor attitude. Responding to an Instagram post about Spence’s discipline issues, Ranger gave him words of advice: “Fix up lad! Asap… trust me, I know”

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