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While the 2019/20 campaign wasn’t exactly earmarked as an opportunity for Troy Parrott to make a Premier League breakthrough, the teenage striker was expected to play a bigger part in Tottenham’s season.
Having made his debut for the full Republic of Ireland side in November 2019, supporters of the exciting young forward had been hopeful that Spurs would provide more of a platform for that fledgling career to develop.
Cup Runs Out
A traditional grounding for young players in England’s top-flight can be found in the EFL Cup. With greater priorities, the bigger clubs tend to field second-string sides and give back-up men the chance to prove their worth as the season progresses. To be completely fair to Tottenham Hotspur, that’s exactly what they did – handing Troy Parrott his full debut in the third round tie against Colchester United.
A run in the side should have developed from this point but, despite making a promising impression, Parrott’s team were knocked out on penalties and one avenue was closed.
Later in the season, with Spurs cruising to a 5-0 victory over Burnley, new Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho brought Parrott on as a late substitute. In handing the player the match ball after the final whistle, the manager seemed to underline his high impressions of the striker but this was to be a rare high point in a frustrating season.
With first-choice striker Harry Kane and his deputy Son Heung-Min suffering long term injuries, Tottenham’s campaign went into free fall. Having started the season among the favourites for Champions League qualification, football betting markets from bet365 saw the 2019 UCL finalists’ odds drift on the back of six games without a win.
With no recognised, senior striker in the club, this would have seemed like a perfect opportunity for Mourinho to give Parrott a run in the side. However, despite the lack of potency during that barren run, the young Irishman was restricted to two more substitute appearances before the season’s break.
With Harry Kane reportedly back to full fitness, the chances of Troy Parrott appearing in a Spurs shirt anytime soon seem slim to say the least. It would appear that Mourinho doesn’t think he’s ready, but the player signed a new 3.5-year contract as recently as February so somebody at Tottenham clearly holds him in high regard. A logical move back in January would have been to send the player out on loan to a lower division club. There was no shortage of interest but a bizarre UEFA ruling put paid to those enquiries.
Ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, that loan seems far more likely: having scored eight goals in seven combined matches for the Under 19 and Under 21 national sides, Parrott should now be given a run at senior level for a club in England, Ireland or mainland Europe. Spurs may feel that he’s still too young for the EPL but that kind of potential suggests that consistent professional club football is the obvious next step.