Irish U21 manager Stephen Kenny isn’t overly concerned about the level of hype surrounding Tottenham striker Troy Parrott, despite the 17-year old’s tender age.
Parrott has been considered an incredibly promising prospect over the last year or so thanks to his sensational goalscoring record at underage level for Spurs, but he has come under increased scrutiny as of late, due to his involvement in the first team setup during pre-season.
Various reports emerged outlining that Mauricio Pochettino would be including the young striker in senior plans this season with Parrott impressing on his first start against Juventus as he was heavily involved in Spurs’ opener.
Parrott finds himself being given the nod once again by Pochettino for their International Champions Cup game against Manchester United on Thursday, with the hype train likely to keep barrelling on should he standout once again.
With comparisons to Robbie Keane and calls for his inclusion in the senior Irish squad already rife, it’s understanable for there to be concerns that this could be a case of too much too soon for the 17-year old.
Stephen Kenny had called Parrott up to his U21 side in September but injury robbed him of his first cap for the side, with the future Irish boss admitting that since he took over he hasn’t had the opportunity to see the striker in action too often.
“Troy hasn’t played many games over the last six or seven months. He had a rib injury that kept him out for a while, then he scored a couple of goals for the u18s and the U23s. I was actually at the game he got injured, it was a bad tackle really, the player came through him, it was unfortunate, he’s been out for a while.
“He’s just coming back and he needs games really, at any level, even if it’s at Spurs’ U23s just to get 10 or so games in a row, that’d do him good.
“I’ve not had the chance to see him live much at all because he’s not played many games since I took over, only maybe a handful of games since I’ve been appointed and that gives you a picture of how little he’s played.”
Despite this, Kenny did outline that he has met and spent time with Parrott off the pitch and feels that the attitude and humility he has shown so far should counter act the hype surrounding him at such an early age.
“He’s very talented, he’s a very level headed young man, great humility, a very good attitude. He’s a good person, I met him a few times and spent some time at Tottenham’s training ground and so forth. He’s very level headed. We’ll see how he goes.”
Against Juventus, Parrott looked comfortable in the company of some of European football’s finest and showed flashes of the talent which has seen so many tip him for the top.
The 17-year old appears tall on the pitch and has shown his pace on occasion, but Kenny feels his creativity and ability as a finisher are the attributes that make him stand out the most.
“I think he’s very instinctive and creative and he sees things early and scores goal. He’s not always conventional, he has a creative mind and he sees things other people don’t see and he’s a very cool and composed finisher.
“He has good instincts around the box and good vision, I’d see them as his attributes.”