Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has said that 17-year-old forward Troy Parrott can learn a lot under the guidance of former striker Robbie Keane.
Parrott was handed his senior debut last night as Ireland eased past New Zealand 3-1 at the Aviva Stadium thanks to goals from Derrick Williams, Sean Maguire and Callum Robinson.
The teenager has only played once for Tottenham this season – during the EFL Cup upset away at Colchester United – and has previously been linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus.
With Spurs only having Harry Kane as an out-and-out attacking option up-front, it is possible that Parrott will be handed more first-team minutes by manager Mauricio Pochettino in the future, especially in competitions like the FA Cup – which begins for Spurs in January.
Last night’s appearance for his country will surely be one of many to come for Parrott. McCarthy welcomed the teenager to men’s football after the Tottenham youngster held his own against experienced Premier League defender Winston Reid.
“Oh, he can handle himself at this level, I don’t doubt that. He was tracking back and he tackled their centre-half and he got all upset [Reid].
“I know he’s been out, so you don’t want him to get injured – but well done, that’s what it’s about.
“Welcome to men’s football, because then he was getting a little bit bullied by him. But he stood up to it, and he’s done fine” (via the Mirror).
McCarthy also added that having a player like Robbie Keane to learn from can only be viewed as a huge benefit for the up and coming striker.
Keane made over 140 appearances for ROI during his career and is the county’s all-time leading goalscorer having found the net 68 times in the emerald green, as well as scoring almost 100 league goals for Spurs across two spells.
He is currently assistant manager of Ireland, working closely with the international strikers to help better themselves in front of goal.
Here’s what McCarthy had to say about Keane, and how he has been helping Parrott in training:
Reporter: What kind of help can Robbie Keane can be to Tottenham’s Troy Parrott?
“It’s just the all-round play of the striker. Robbie has been one of the best and if he can’t learn from him, he’s not going to learn from anybody.”
— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) November 14, 2019
It goes without saying how beneficial it is having a player of Keane’s quality as a mentor. Parrott is still extremely young and senior men’s football is still relatively new to him, so having players of such experience will massively aid him in the international set-up.
At Tottenham he is working closely with Kane – arguably one of the best strikers in the world right now – with Ireland, he has Keane, who is one of the best Premier League forwards in history. Not bad, that.
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