Dublin: 15°C Saturday 31 July 2021

Robbie Keane: 'We have to be careful we're not pigeonholing Troy into being the next me'

Robbie Keane is wary of putting too much pressure on the shoulders of the Spurs teenager.

ROBBIE KEANE HAS urged caution over putting pressure on the prodigious shoulders of Troy Parrott, as the giddy excitement over the Irish teenager’s goalscoring potential swells.

The 17-year-old, currently sidelined with a leg injury, enjoyed another excellent season for Tottenham Hotspur’s U23 side and is considered one of Ireland’s brightest young prospects, regularly touted as a natural long-term successor to Keane.

Troy Parrott Parrott is currently sidelined with a leg injury. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ireland’s record goal-scorer, who today confirmed he is weighing up an offer to become Middlesbrough assistant manager, recently visited Tottenham’s training ground to meet Parrott, and came away impressed with the Dubliner’s personality and temperament. 

But while Keane says Mauricio Pochettino ’loves’ Parrott, the Ireland assistant boss has warned against ‘pigeonholing’ the striker and stresses he must be allowed to develop on his own terms.

“We have to be careful with Troy Parrott,” Keane said on a visit to Crumlin Children’s Hospital this morning. “I think all of us here have to be careful that we’re not pigeonholing him into being the next me.

It’s him. He’s Troy Parrott. Let him develop as a young player. He’s got the ability, I speak to Pochettino all the time and he loves him. Jesus [Perez] the assistant manager loves him. He definitely has potential but he’s 17 and I know I got thrown in at 17 but he’s still young.

“He’s got a lot of potential. People at Tottenham love him. He’s a lovely lad but when he gets the opportunity to go to the U21s he certainly has a chance but it’s up to him. He’s got everything but it’s how do you get from there to there.”

Parrott missed Ireland’s U17 European Championship campaign last month, and has also been sidelined for the U21s’ ongoing Toulon tournament, but he has already showed his prolific goal-scoring ability for the Boys and Green and Spurs. 

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

Acknowledging the fact U21 international Conor Masterson was one of three Irish underage players released by Liverpool last week, Keane knows for all Parrott’s promise, he has to keep working hard to ensure that potential doesn’t expire before he can fulfil it at senior level.

Troy Parrott and Bram Franken Big things are expected of the teenager. Source: Simon Stacpoole/INPHO

“He has the mentality,” the former striker continued. “I went over and met him at Tottenham and had lunch with him and I just wanted to have a chat to see where he was.

“He definitely has the right temperament to be a top player and the manager [Pochettino] thinks very highly of him but when the opportunity comes for him he has to take it.

“He needs to develop and continue to keep scoring goals. I know he got injured towards the end of the season but he needs to keep developing, keep watching, keep learning, keep listening.

“Speak to Harry Kane. Watch Harry Kane. Watch what he does. What his movement is like. As young kids, I used to do it myself, watch top players because you can learn a lot from that.”

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel