Ireland assistant manager and former Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane has called for caution over the hyperbole surrounding 17-year old Troy Parrott who many feel is the heir to the record goalscorer’s throne.
Parrott is one of Ireland’s most promising prospects having impressed for Spurs’ underage sides, scoring 19 goals this season, including 14 in just nine games for the U18s.
The young hitman has also impressed with Ireland’s U19s, scoring four goals in just four caps and would likely have been involved in Stephen Kenny’s U21 squad for the Toulon Tournament this summer.
Although he is only beginning his career in the game Parrott is already frequently being likened to Keane due to his goalscoring ability and affiliation to both Spurs and Ireland.
Speaking as he was unveiled as an official Euro 2020 ambassador at Crumlin Children’s hospital on Wednesday, Keane outlined that Parrott is very highly thought of at the London club but warned that he shouldn’t be pigeon-holed as his goalscoring successor.
“We have to be careful with Troy Parrott,” Keane began.
“I think all of us here have to be careful that we’re not pigeon holing him into being the next me. It’s him. He’s Troy Parrott. Let him develop as a young player.
“He’s got ability, I speak to Pochettino all the time and he loves him. Jesus (Perez) the assistant manager loves him. He definitely has potential but he’s 17 and I know I got thrown in at 17 but he’s still young.
“He’s got a lot of potential. People at Tottenham love him. He’s a lovely lad but when he gets the opportunity to go to the U21s he certainly has a chance but it’s up to him.
“He’s got everything but it’s how do you get from there to there.”
Parrott has been involved in Pochettino’s first team squad already having travelled with the team for a Premier League game against Leicester in December and having met with the 17-year old Keane feels that he has the right mentality to succeed as he implored him to use his teammate Harry Kane as an example to follow.
“He has the mentality. I went over and met him at Tottenham and had lunch with him and I just wanted to have a chat to see where he was.
“He definitely has the right temperament to be a top player and the manager [Pochettino] thinks very highly of him but when the opportunity comes for him he has to take it.
“He needs to develop and continue to keep scoring goals. I know he got injured towards the end of the season but he needs to keep developing, keep watching, keep learning, keep listening.
“Speak to Harry Kane. Watch Harry Kane. Watch what he does. What his movement is like. As young kids, I used to do it myself, watch top players because you can learn a lot from that.”
The striker is currently still recovering from a leg injury suffered towards the end of last season but his emergence is promising for McCarthy and Ireland at a time when they are crying out for a goalscorer.
Monday night’s win over Gibraltar marked the eighth game in a row where an Irish frontman failed to get on the scoresheet as the strikers continue to struggle.
Speaking about Parrott on Monday, McCarthy outlined that he would give the 17-year old a chance if he impressed him on his return from injury.
“I’ve only had reports on him because he’s been injured but I’d love to see him playing.
“He looks really good. Yes, I’d like to see him. Would I give him a chance if he’s good enough? Of course I would.”