Tottenham striker Troy Parrott has been impressing many in pre-season, after being given his chance in the first-team by manager Mauricio Pochettino.
17-year old Parrott made his senior debut against Juventus in the International Champions Cup last month and put in a confident and assured display, setting up Spurs’ opener and looking lively throughout.
Pochettino also started the Irish striker against Manchester United as well as giving him game time against the likes of Inter Milan and Real Madrid, with Parrott once again holding his own against some of European football’s elite.
Former Irish defender Gary Breen has been keeping a close eye on Parrott throughout pre-season and having watched him on a number of occasion the ex-Wolves and Sunderland man has loved what he’s seen so far.
“I’m reluctant to say it because I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but I can’t wait to see Troy Parrott this season,” said Breen as he was unveiled as one of Premier Sports’ new broadcast team,.
“He’s 17-years of age playing against Manchester United and Inter Milan, up against grizzly, experienced international centre halves, and he coped brilliantly.
“Chris Smalling tried to bully him, he went after him and got rolled twice. Then he flicked the ball over his head. Smalling didn’t go looking for him again, he treated him with the respect he deserved.
“He can cope with the physicality of the Premier League. If I could pick any club for a young star to be at it would be Tottenham, under Mauricio Pochettino and that pathway that they have.”
Pochettino’s willingness to play Parrott in the first team at such a young age, albeit in friendly games, appears to be a strong indication that he will be in and around the senior side in North London this season, as backup to Harry Kane.
Given that he is involved and impressing at such a big club there have been calls to include him in the next Irish squad for the upcoming games against Switzerland and Bulgaria, something Mick McCarthy outlined would only occur if he was getting game time at Spurs.
Breen, however, is confident that given Ireland’s current lack of options up top, and McCarthy’s track record of giving Robbie Keane an opportunity at a young age also, the Irish boss will give Parrott a chance in the next squad.
“He will be in the Ireland squad. Mick put Robbie Keane in from Wolves at a time when we had strikers available, I don’t think we have that now as such. That’s not being disrespectful to the lads involved.
“He will look at him, this won’t be a PR stunt to bring a young player in, and say ‘can he cope? I don’t care what age he is’. If he’s seen the games that I have seen, he will say ‘yeah, he can cope’.”
McCarthy, who will leave his role in August 2020 to make way for the incoming Stephen Kenny, knows that his remit as Irish manager is to qualify for the upcoming European Championships – not to develop players for the future.
Does Breen feel this will hamper McCarthy’s thought process surrounding Parrott’s selection?
“He won’t be thinking about getting Troy in and giving him a few games to develop so that the next manager can get the benefit. Mick is all about the now.
“Mick will look at Troy and think that ‘kid is strong enough to play’. It’s just whether he gets enough games at Tottenham.”
Premier Sports today unveiled a new, fresh and exciting broadcast team for its coverage of the 2019/2020 Premier League Season featuring analysts Richard Dunne and Kenny Cunningham, host Eoin McDevitt and commentators Des Curran, Gary Breen and Clive Tyldesley.