Jose Mourinho has expanded on the long-term process surrounding Irish striker Troy Parrott and his future integration into the Tottenham first team.
Parrott has been around the senior setup at Tottenham for the last year or so and was handed his Premier League debut under Mourinho in December while also coming off the bench against Wolves at the weekend.
The 18-year-old, who recently signed a long-term deal at Spurs, had been expected to feature more frequently after injuries to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min left the club with a crisis up front.
Mourinho though has been reluctant to put his faith in Parrott whom he has outlined is, in his opinion, not quite ready for first-team action.
The Irish striker returned to the Under-23s on Monday evening, scoring in their game against Wolves before being replaced at half-time.
Speaking at his press conference ahead of their FA Cup clash with Norwich this week, Mourinho confirmed that Parrott would be on the bench for the game but outlined that the club still need to take care of Parrott in all aspects of his life.
“He will be on the bench tomorrow,” he said in quotes reported by Football London.
“We’re taking very good care of him and we cannot tell you obviously every detail. We’re taking good care of a young player and also taking care of a young boy in society, in life, in private life. That’s a process.”
“He’s 18. One month ago he was 17, so he’s not even close to being 19. Yesterday we decided it was good for him to play [for the U23s] but we decided before the game, with the relations we have with youth football, it was only for 45 minutes, to give him some match time but not 90 minutes because tomorrow he’s going to be on the bench. It’s a process.
“We take care of the players. It was not my work but for [Harry] Winks to arrive in the position of club captain in a Premier League match shows what can be done in this club.
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) March 1, 2020
“A kid comes here, at nine or 10 years old, taken care of, plays in the first team and arrives at a moment where he even wears the armband. Troy is a process. He’s a very young kid with a lot, a lot, a lot to learn.
Mourinho was then quizzed as to whether his learnings need to be done on or off the pitch;
“Also football-wise, yeah,” he began.
“He has qualities. He has potential but he’s not an end product. He has a lot to learn, a lot to develop at every level. He’s going to be on the bench again tomorrow again. A few minutes he played already, he already has two Premier League appearances which is not normal for an 18-year-old kid.
“He’s a privileged one. I think he understands the privilege of being part of the first team training every day, learning with experiences players and coaches, with very people also in the academy. He’s a privileged one. Step by step.”
"He has qualities & potential but he has a lot to learn"
“We are taking care of a player and a young boy. He's 18. One month ago he was 17, so he's not even close to being 19."
— Pundit Arena Football (@PAFootball_) March 3, 2020