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The striker has been out with injury since September
It has been a difficult season for Troy Parrott so far. The Tottenham man is on loan at Millwall for the season but has only made one appearance thus far. This is down to no fault of his own, though.
The frontman sustained an injury in Millwall’s EFL Cup game against Burnley back in September. He managed to get through the first half but was immediately hooked at half time. He and Irish/Millwall fans alike would have been disappointed given his impressive pre-season performances for the club.
Millwall boss Gary Rowett had previously suggested that Parrott may be available for selection in November. He appears to have been correct as Parrott was called up to the Ireland u21 squad yesterday. Rowett is unhappy with Parrott being called up for international duty amid his recovery from injury, however.
🔵Millwall boss Gary Rowett insists he will not be happy if Tottenham Hotspur star Troy Parrott is called-up by the Republic Of Ireland:
🗣“Possibly he’ll go away with Ireland, although I don’t think that’s the best course of action for him.”#THFC #COYSpic.twitter.com/qQ945ZenUI
— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) NOVEMBER 4, 2020
Some questions have been raised about Parrott’s inclusion following Gary Rowett’s comments. Ireland u21 manager Jim Crawford has attempted to ease concerns. Crawford suggested that Parrott wouldn’t have been called up to the squad if there were fitness concerned. He has also suggested that he won’t be rushing the striker into action, though.
European Championship qualification
Parrott’s inclusion occurs with upcoming games against Iceland and Luxembourg. The long qualification campaign will come to an end after the Luxembourg fixture on the 18th. So far, he has scored 4 goals in 4 games in u21 European Championship qualification for his country. He’ll be hoping to add to his tally in the upcoming weeks.
The upcoming fixtures are pivotal to Ireland’s qualification chances. Their loss to Italy last month came as a blow so they’ll be keen to get back on track. They currently sit level on points with the Italians, however Italy also have a game in hand. Iceland are also just 1 point behind, sitting in 4th place as it stand. Iceland also have a game in hand, meaning it’s vital pick up at least a draw in that fixture.
The top 2 placed nations qualify for the European Championships so Ireland are in a good position, but it’s far from over. Qualification would mean a first appearance at the u21 European Championships for Ireland. It would be a great achievement for the country if it comes to fruition. It would also be a great opportunity for players coming through the system to gain experience in an international tournament.
Barring Parrott, several other prospects have been included in the squad. Mark McGuinness is one name that jumps out immediately. The Arsenal youngster is currently on loan at Ipswich where he’s been impressing of late. We included McGuinness as an Irish teenager to watch in a recent article. Luca Connell has also been added to the squad, having missed out on previous squads. Connell has struggled for game time since moving north to Scotland, but he remains very highly rated.
Here is the selected Ireland u21 squad:
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Rochdale, on loan from Manchester City), Edward McGinty (Sligo Rovers).
Defenders: Lee O’Connor (Tranmere, on loan from Celtic), Danny McNamara (St Johnstone, on loan from Millwall), Darragh Leahy (Dundalk), Thomas O’Connor (Gillingham, on loan from Southampton), Nathan Collins (Stoke), Mark McGuinness (Ipswich, on loan from Arsenal), Conor Masterson (Queens Park Rangers), Liam Scales (Shamrock Rovers).
Midfielders: Conor Coventry (West Ham), Luca Connell (Celtic), Will Ferry (Southampton), Jason Knight (Derby), Danny Mandroiu (Bohemians), Connor Ronan (Grasshopper Club Zurich, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Anthony Scully (Lincoln), Jack Taylor (Peterborough United).
Forwards: Jonathan Afolabi (Dundee FC, on loan from Celtic), Joshua Kayode (Carlisle United, on loan from Rotherham United), Zachary Elbouzedi (Lincoln), Daniel Grant (Bohemians), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Troy Parrott (Millwall, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur).