By Damian Dolan
Tottenham Hotspur legend Clive Allen has warned against placing too much expectation on the shoulders of Republic of Ireland star Troy Parrott, and has backed Spurs manager Jose Mourinho’s handling of the player.
The Dubliner, who turned 18 this week, made his competitive first-team debut at Spurs under previous manager Mauricio Pochettino in the Carabao Cup third round tie at Colchester United in September.
Mourinho gave him his Premier League debut off the bench in a 5-0 win at home to Burnley on 7 December, but the Irishman hasn’t featured since under the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss.
That despite Tottenham relying on Son and Lucas Moura as make-shift strikers, with England star Harry Kane ruled out until mid-April.
What a win, what a team, what a county 💚 https://t.co/lXQkRtZxd7
— Troy Parrott (@troyparrott9) September 10, 2019
It’s prompted calls for Parrott to be given more game time, but Allen says the highly-rated youngster needs to be handled with care.
“Expectation is high on this young man and he’s going to be a goal scorer of the future for Spurs, but he’s going to need a gradual introduction into the front line on a permanent basis,” he told talkSPORT.
“Everyone just has to be patient with Troy Parrott.”
He added: “I went that night (versus Colchester) to see him play first-hand because they’d been so much talked about him, and he is on for the future. There’s no doubt about that.
“But it would be a really difficult time to throw him in at the moment.”
— Troy Parrott (@troyparrott9) February 4, 2019
To compound matters for Parrott, FIFA rules regarding home-grown players and his 4 February birthdate conspired to prevent him from going out on loan in January.
Burnley and Charlton were both believed to be interested in signing him.
In order for Parrott to be regarded as home-grown he must have completed two uninterrupted years at Tottenham.
Parrott signed for the club on his 16th birthday in 2016, meaning he missed the chance to go out on loan by a matter of days.
Parrott didn’t feature in Spurs’ 2-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday, but the Irishman did at least get on the pitch at one point – to join in the celebrations following Steven Bergwijn’s goal.
The win moved Spurs up to fifth in the Premier League.
Promoted to Ireland’s under 21 team last year by Stephen Kenny, when he was just 17, Parrott excelled. The team are now close to reaching a major finals for the first time in its history.
On the back of which, Mick McCarthy handed him his senior Ireland debut in a 3-1 friendly win over New Zealand in Dublin.