'Don't pigeonhole him with being the next me' - Robbie Keane says fans should be patient with Troy Parrott
Robbie Keane says the public must allow Troy Parrott the chance to develop as a player and not to rush his development with Ireland caps.
The assistant manager for the Republic of Ireland team believes the 17-year-old Tottenham Hotspurs U-23s player must be brought into the fold gradually.
"We have to be careful with Troy Parrott and not pigeonhole him with being the next me and all of that. He’s him. He’s Troy Parrott: Let him develop as a young player," said Keane as he visited Crumlin Children's Hospital in Dublin yesterday as part of his duties as a Euro 2020 Ambassador.
The former Ireland international noted that the talented young striker is held in very high esteem by Tottenham manager, Mauricio Pochettino and by Tottenham fans.
"I speak to Pochettino all the time and he loves him. Jesus (Perez) the assistant manager loves him," said Keane.
"People at Tottenham love him, he’s a lovely lad. He certainly has a chance (to join the Ireland team) but it’s up to him, it’s up to him because he has everything."
Keane was impressed by the mental resolve he saw in Parrott while having lunch with him over in Tottenham, tipping him with the potential to make it big in international football.
"He definitely has the right temperament to be a top player, and like I say the manager speaks very highly of him," said Keane.
Keane believes that time and experience will be crucial to the young striker and that it would be unwise to rush him into up the ranks from a young age.
"We need him to develop, to keep scoring goals, I know he did for the 23s last season and then he got injured but we need him to keep progressing, keep developing, keep watching, keep learning, keep listening, keep speaking to Harry Kane, watch what he does, what his movement is," said Keane.
"As a young kid, I used to do it myself, watch the top players because you can learn a lot from them."