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'He is available to play' - Jose Mourinho's encouraging words for birthday boy Troy Parrott

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Troy Parrott. Photo: David Klein

Troy Parrott. Photo: David Klein

Troy Parrott. Photo: David Klein

Ireland striker Troy Parrott toasted his 18th birthday with the news that he has been moved down to Tottenham's Champions League B list by manager Jose Mourinho, but he is still eligible to play in the last-16 tie against Red Bull Leipzig later this month.

Parrott's hopes of leaving Tottenham on loan for the second half of this season were complicated by a UEFA rule that meant he could not leave Spurs on loan until he turned 18, as he needed to be a Spurs player for two full years to qualify for UEFA's Champions League B list as a homegrown player.

It meant that leaving in last month's transfer window was not an option Tottenham could consider and now that he has celebrated his 18th birthday, he has been included on the club's B list for the knock-out phase of the competition, which frees up space for the club's new arrivals Steven Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes on a list that sees out-of-favour midfielder Victor Wanyama left on the sidelines.

"Parrott goes to the B squad," stated Mourinho. "In practical terms it is the same. He is available to play. Victor and Michel (Vorm) is a different story.

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Jose Mourinho hands the ball to Troy Parrott after Tottenham’s victory. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Jose Mourinho hands the ball to Troy Parrott after Tottenham’s victory. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

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Jose Mourinho hands the ball to Troy Parrott after Tottenham’s victory. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

"I feel safer by having Michel on the list. I don't want to have the risk of losing Paulo (Gazzaniga) or Hugo (Lloris) and not to have Michel on the list."

Parrott was the subject of strong transfer interest from Championship side Charlton last month and while it is believed he was keen to explore the possibility to a loan move, Tottenham confirmed that he could not leave due to to the UEFA rules on homegrown players.

The former Belvedere product will be hoping to have his first involvement in the Tottenham first team since he made his Premier League debut against Burnley on December 7th when Spurs take on Southampton in an FA Cup fourth-round replay on Saturday.

Yet after Mourinho stated on more than one occasion that he is not ready to play first-team football, the signing Bergwijn has added to the Dubliner's challenge of breaking into the Spurs side.

The Dutch winger, signed from PSV Eindhoven, marked his debut for the club with a fine goal as Mourinho's side beat Manchester City, with Mourinho full of praise for Bergwijn and his fellow new arrival Fernandes.

"We got a very good player in Steven, we got a good kid with good potential to develop in Gedson," he said.

"I would say we also lost a fantastic player, because people cannot judge Christian for the last season, he has to be judged for six seasons where he showed in club and the Premier League his top quality.

"We found our balance there, lost a fantastic midfield player in Christian (Eriksen), got a very exciting attacking winger (Bergwijn) and a young boy in midfielder (Fernandes) who can give us solutions.

"Without injuries, I would say 'yes, good'. One player who gave six years is leaving but an incredible, exciting prospect is coming. I would say, 'Very very good'.

"But we had these problems with important injuries and of course our squad in this moment is not as good as it can be. When our injured players are back, of course it will be much better."

Tottenham's winter break has been disrupted by the replay against Southampton, but Mourinho insists that will not affect their focus heading into another home game.

"We are ready," he added. "Again the perfect situation was to have beaten Southampton and not to play this game, but it was a draw so we have to play again. That is the way it is.

"We can not blame anyone for that and if we have to blame anyone it is ourselves because we were winning and conceded a late goal, but we are happy to still be in the competition.

"I only won one FA Cup, but I want to try the second one. So if you ask me I know where the direction goes. If you ask me if I prefer to play tomorrow or already have the boys on holidays I prefer to play tomorrow.

"To have them on holidays would mean that we are knocked out in the first game in Southampton and it is better to draw. Let's go. We are in the competition, so until we are not we will fight."

Online Editors