Mick McCarthy has said that Troy Parrott must be playing in Premier League games to come into contention for the Republic of Ireland squad.
Parrott started for Spurs in their pre-season friendlies against Juventus and Manchester United, playing 45-minutes in both games.
The highly-rated Irish forward, who only turned 17 earlier this year, impressed in his first appearances for the Tottenham first-team.
Against Juventus, Parrott played a big part in his side’s opening goal. After making an excellent overlapping run, Parrott collected Son Heung-min’s pass and tested Gianluigi Buffon with a shot that was palmed into the path of Erik Lamela, who scored the rebound.
The Dubliner also showed some nice touches against Man United in Shanghai on Thursday afternoon and appears to have the ability required to forge a career at the top level of the game. His time with the Ireland senior team will undoubtedly come, just not in September against Switzerland unless something special happens at club level.
McCarthy has said that, while Parrott is talented, and he has no issuing capping young players, the forward will only be in his squad if he is playing regularly for Spurs – a difficult task considering they are among the best teams in European football.
“If Mauricio Pochettino thinks Troy is good enough to play a competitive game for Tottenham, then, yes, but he’s got to be in the team,” McCarthy said on Thursday afternoon at a press event at Trim Celtic.
“I hated pre-season matches, they don’t mean anything except a way to get fit. It’s wonderful that he is getting game time with Spurs now against the likes of Juventus and Manchester United. But the test is, does he play on August 10, the date the Premier League starts?”
Other small countries, such as Wales, have given promising young players opportunities before they broke into the first-team at their respective clubs. Ethan Ampadu played more times for Wales last season than he did for Chelsea, making six appearances for his country and just five at club level. The 18-year-old was one of the best players on the pitch when Wales thrashed Ireland 4-1 in Cardiff last September.
But it appears that McCarthy will be taking a similar approach to his predecessor Martin O’Neill, who did not select promising players, such as Jack Grealish and Declan Rice, for competitive games as they were not featuring regularly for their clubs at the time. Luckily, the national team is in no danger of losing Parrott, who is Dublin-born and bred, as they did with Grealish and Rice.
McCarthy capped young players such as Robbie Keane and Damien Duff in his first stint as manager. However, he stated on Thursday that players must be featuring in first-teams at club level to be in consideration for his squad.
“But back then I had a bit of time to build a team, now I have to get points off Switzerland in September, that’s what matters,” he said.
“It is about players being in their club’s first-team for me. I’ll be looking at every player once the new season starts, that will be the test for everyone.”
Ireland play Switzerland in Dublin on September 5 in a crucial Euro 2020 qualifier and could do with as many options up-front as possible.
Parrott looks almost certain to be involved with Stephen Kenny’s under-21 team during the next international window unless he can work his way into Tottenham’s team way ahead of schedule.