Troy Parrott is swiftly becoming a name on the lips of many fans. This for good reason; with a prolific goalscoring record at youth level, along with a humble mentality, he is performing well. He is already involved in the Republic of Ireland set up, impressing Martin O’Neill. Thus far, he hasn’t been able to secure any first team playing time with his domestic club, Tottenham Hotspur. However, he has been training with them. Soon turning 17, he’ll need to start moving towards those first cameo appearances for the first team, gaining that invaluable experience in order to develop into a key talent for both club and for the Republic of Ireland.
Statistically, Parrott is already a prolific goal scorer. In just seven U-18 Premier League caps, he has scored eleven goals and notched three assists. This equates to roughly one goal every 57 minutes. Furthermore, his stats for the UEFA Youth League are also very impressive, considering the higher levels of competition. In five appearances he has three goals and an assist. In addition, he scored a hat-trick for the Republic of Ireland in a UEFA Under-19 Championship Qualifying Round. There is nothing to fault here, for these numbers are really promising. Of course, this is only at youth level. But, nevertheless, a young star needs to be firing the goals in the youth league if they are to be successful at a senior level. Parrott is building his confidence with every successful take-on, finish and assist. He already wears his country’s colours, and has thus sampled the joy of playing for one’s own country.
The loan of fellow team-mate and youth academy graduate Kaziah Sterling to Sunderland is a potential opportunity for Parrott. It isn’t nailed on that Pochettino will favour him next for the third-place berth for striker. But, his involvement in first team training sessions will be vital chances for Parrott to impress.
Ironically, the promise of Parrott is under threat with the return of Vincent Janssen from injury. The Dutchman has been included in the first team squad after the departure of Georges-Kevin Nkoudou. Pochettino will include him back in the first team training sessions and he will provide further cover for the injured Harry Kane. However, the fact that he has only just be re-registered in the squad suggests that Janssen is merely a player to make up the numbers. Parrott therefore should be able to keep his path clear towards the first team.
It is perhaps too early to get hyped up about Parrott. But, unlike the typical unruly, egotistical young star, Parrott has been described as “a quiet lad”, “confident without being arrogant” according to Darragh O’Reilly. These qualities seem to point towards a tangible hope and future for the young star. For, such qualities are found, most closely, in Harry Kane. Of course, there is nothing to suggest Parrott will turn out anywhere near as world renowned as Kane. But, indeed, like Kane, he is a player that works hard, takes his credit, but continues to improve his game. Both of these lads seem to be grounded, focussed and not prey to getting distracted by the limelight.
Parrott is a young player, turning 17, and looking impressive at youth level. He now has a realistic chance at breaking into the Spurs first team. Should Pochettino give him the chance, he really must capitalise on it. After all, he has a world class striker to displace, or more realistically, help support and work alongside. But, a working relationship with Kane will only be beneficial for Parrott, and for the Republic of Ireland, who are so missing the kind of creative, clinical talents in the likes of Robbie Keane. Indeed, it is first team senior football experience that will develop Parrott into a great player for club and country.