Tuesday 15 October 2019

Parrott can go right to top – Keane

 

Kid’s play: EURO 2020 Ambassador and Ireland assistant manager Robbie Keane meets Maggie O’Donovan, aged 15 months, from Dublin, during his visit to Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Kid’s play: EURO 2020 Ambassador and Ireland assistant manager Robbie Keane meets Maggie O’Donovan, aged 15 months, from Dublin, during his visit to Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Robbie Keane believes that rising star Troy Parrott has the ability to break into the Ireland squad inside the next year if he starts playing first-team football.

But he warned against comparisons with his own rise that would place unfair expectations on the young Dubliner's shoulders.

The 17-year-old Belvedere product has been tipped for big things after progressing to the fringes of Mauricio Pochettino's first-team squad before injury halted his season.

Keane is a regular visitor to Spurs' training ground and is aware of the esteem in which the attacker is held by Pochettino and the rest of the staff. Yet he is wary of the hype getting out of control.

"Be careful how you push him in terms of 'the next Robbie Keane'. He's Troy Parrott. People say at Tottenham, 'the next Harry Kane'.

"Let him be him and he'll progress naturally anyway. He's one for the future, I'm excited to see his progression because he's definitely got a chance. The people at Tottenham have high expectations of him.

"I speak to Pochettino all the time and he loves him. Jesus (Perez), the assistant manager, loves him.

Keane was called into the Ireland squad as a 17-year-old but that was after gaining experience at Wolves.

"He's not really ready because he's not playing," he said.

"He'll play for Ireland, 100 per cent. Whether it's six months or a year, we don't know. That's up to Tottenham, if they play him or send him out on loan. He's good enough to go somewhere.

"Will he get that chance at Spurs now? Probably slim. He trained with the squad last year a lot.

"It's just unfortunate he's got a couple of injuries that set him back."

Ireland's record goal-scorer was impressed by Parrott in their private meeting.

"He knows what he wants," said Keane. "He knows he's going to be a player, he's very assured. It's good to hear a 17-year-old saying that."

Keane is leaning towards saying yes to an offer to broaden his coaching education at Middlesbrough as assistant to his old pal Jonathan Woodgate. He would be able to combine it with his Ireland role.

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