Irish midfielder Jack Byrne has called for calm over international teammate Troy Parrott’s current situation at Spurs, despite the 17-year-old’s lack of first team minutes at the club.
Parrott was handed his Premier League debut by manager Jose Mourinho in December but hasn’t featured for Spurs in any competition since, despite regular striker Harry Kane’s injury.
Mourinho had outlined that he doesn’t feel Parrott is ready for regular first-team action quite yet and that people must remember just how young he still is.
Byrne has known Parrott for many years, with the pair both hailing from inner city Dublin, and when the young striker was called up to the senior Irish squad for the first time in November, the Shamrock Rovers midfielder took him under his wing throughout the camp.
The 23-year-old admitted that Parrott’s current situation of being in limbo at the club is difficult but urged patience from all parties outlining that the fellow Dubliner “needs to take his time and listen to good people around him.”
“He is very young,” said Byrne when speaking at the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s launch in Abbotstown on Wednesday.
“I’ve been friends with Troy since he was about 14. I’ve grown up with him around the same area. So when you see someone coming into the squad that you know you try and look after them as much as you can.
“It’s a difficult situation for him at the moment. Does he go on loan? Do the club want to send him out on loan? I don’t know. I’m not Jose Mourinho, I don’t know how he’s working it. For his own development, he’s only a kid and he’s training with some of the best players in the world at Tottenham, it can’t be bad for him to stay there.
“I just think he needs to take his time and listen to good people around him. He needs to go with the flow he’s still only 17.
With Parrott only turning 18 at the start of February does Byrne believe people tend to forget how young he really is?
“I think some people do forget he’s still only 17 but maybe because of how good he is and how good he can be.
“There’s obviously the added pressure when you make your Tottenham debut and then you go on and make your Ireland first team debut and you’re not coming on for five minutes in these games at the end of the game and being thrown on as a carrot.
“He started against Colchester and he started against New Zealand. He’s shown that he can be a real top player. Look I think you just need to see how it pans out and let it flow naturally.”
There have been calls for Parrott to leave the club on loan although Mourinho has previously outlined that he doesn’t believe that would be the best move for him.
Byrne explained that he still keeps in constant contact with Parrott and although he didn’t divulge the details of their frequent discussions, he outlined that he believes the Tottenham striker is very happy in north London.
“Yeah, I’ve talked to him about the situation. I can’t say what I said but I did speak to him. He’s happy, he’s really happy at Tottenham. He’s training with the best players, one of the best coaches in the world too. I probably speak to him every few days. Not even about football but just about everything.
“I know he’s happy and he’s enjoying himself and over time he’ll grow into the player that he should be. Everyone finds their level eventually.
“He has the confidence that if he is given the chance he would do well. He’s doesn’t not want to play or if the opportunity for something came up he wouldn’t not want to do it. He’s very confident that if he was given an opportunity he’d do well so it’s just about getting that chance.”
The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme was launched on Wednesday by current Republic of Ireland footballer, Jack Byrne, and current Republic of Ireland women’s footballer, Amber Barrett. The pair were on hand at St. Patricks National School, Corduff, to provide a coaching masterclass to a number of students who will be competing in the national 5-a-side competition.
School blitzes are open to boys and girls from 4th, 5th and 6th class, and puts emphasis on fun and inclusivity. Register for the SPAR5s by February 14th at www.fai.ie/primary5
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