Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has suggested he needs his young players to work on their 'emotional control' as he left Republic of Ireland striker Troy Parrott out of his squad for Saturday's game at Chelsea.
ith Harry Kane and Son Heung-min out of action for an extended period, Mourinho has bemoaned his lack of striking options and yet he continues to insist 18-year-old Parrott is 'not ready' to play first-team football.
Mourinho handed Parrott his Premier League debut in December and has yet to pick him since that nine-minute cameo against Burnley, with Mourinho seemingly contradicting himself when he suggested some in his position pick young players just to tick a box and confirm they are open to handing youthful performer a chance.
"Some managers do it for the stats. They play them once then that's it," he said when asked about Parrott, even though that is precisely what he appears to have done with the 18-year-old Irishman.
"When a player is ready and has the talent, the emotional control, I would love to have a striker in this moment in these conditions."
Parrott's absence from the Spurs squad sparked a now familiar negative reaction from Tottenham fans on social media, while opinion on Mourinho's treatment of Parrott is divided among former Spurs players, with Jamie Redknapp talking up the talents of the senior Republic of Ireland international in his Daily Mail column.
"With Harry Kane and Son Heung-min sidelined, Parrott is a name on the lips of Spurs supporters," stated Redknapp. "Mourinho has claimed Parrott is ‘not ready’ but my sources at Tottenham say he is the real deal, with all the attributes to go to the very top.
"He has power, pace and is not the type to be fazed by a challenge. He’s been training with the first team, learning from the master Kane and has been capped by Ireland.
"I have every faith that Parrott is more than capable of doing a job for Mourinho and I hope he gets an opportunity to prove that, even if it’s off the substitutes’ bench."
Ex-Tottenham winger Chris Waddle backed Redknapp's view that the Dubliner should get a chance to showcase his talents, as he compared him to Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford, who were both given chances in the Premier League.
"Sometimes you have to give a young striker a go – and now’s the time for Jose Mourinho to give Troy Parrott a shot," he told the Racing Post. "The way Spurs play they need a number nine and Parrott is that option right now – and I don’t care that he’s only 18.
"Let’s not forget that he’s a full international – he played for Ireland against New Zealand in November – so he’s not a stranger to playing at a high level surrounded by top players.
"He complained on Wednesday that several of his players are jaded and fading. Well, Parrott isn’t. He could be the answer and Spurs fans would give him a chance. They’ll be right behind him because he’s one of their own having come through the academy.
"Now he might crash and burn – but he also might be a natural and take to Premier League football like a duck to water, like Rashford or Rooney did."
Former Spurs striker Les Ferdinand offered an alternative view, as he suggested Mourinho's judgment on the player needed to be respected.
"It's easy to sit back and say Troy Parrott should be playing because he's the only recognised striker, but, although he's the only striker that we all recognise, he has to be good enough or the manager has to deem him good enough to play in the side," he said.
"We've seen on the international level he's done pretty well there, but there's a jump between playing in the U23s and playing in the first team in the Premier League on a regular basis. The manager will blood him and play him when he thinks the time is right."