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Opinion – Why Jose Mourinho must make the best use of this talented 18-year-old Irishman

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Troy Parrott should be given opportunities by Jose Mourinho

Tottenham are facing an acute crisis in the striking department. The injury to Harry Kane had left the side without their infallible scorer and threatened to throw the season into disarray.

Heung-min Son stepped up and did a decent job up front scoring four goals in the next five games. The news of his injury came as a critical blow to Tottenham fans. Ironically, the South Korean superstar had just about illustrated his match-winning ability against Aston Villa by scoring with the last kick of the match before immediately being ruled out for the foreseeable future.

With Son out of the picture, attention turned to  Tottenham’s inability to sign a striker in January. Eventually, we signed no one and left ourselves open to such a crisis. It could just be that the solution to all our problems was at the club all along.

Troy Parrott

Troy Parrott has struggled for game time under Jose Mourinho

The Promising Irishman

Enter Troy Parrott, the 18-year-old Irishman signed from the Irish side Belvedere in 2017.

The 18-year-old is one of Spurs’ best prospects and is most importantly a striker and a prolific one at that. Parrott has made 37 appearances for the Tottenham Under-18 and Under-23 sides and has scored an impressive 31 goals and six assists.

The youngster has shown a key eye for goal and has also caught the eye of the Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy. The 61-year-old veteran manager had seen enough to give Parrott his debut against New Zealand in 2019. The youngster came off the bench and grabbed an assist in what was a promising debut.

Troy Parrott Mick Mccarthy

Mick McCarthy gave Troy Parrott his first international cap for the Republic of Ireland

McCarthy recently went as far to say that the youngster stands to miss out on the Irish squad for Euro 2020 due to not playing enough this season. To even be in the conversation, having not ever started a senior match speaks volumes of the player’s ability.

Parrott was keen on leaving on loan but Spurs pulled out of the deal to prevent losing the ability to utilize him as a homegrown player. The news of his signing a new contract was met with cheers from the fanbase, but one has to ask if he is being used right.

Parrott’s rise has caught the attention of Spurs fans who are excited to see what the player can do. Everyone that is except Jose Mourinho. The Tottenham manager has consistently stated that he does not believe Parrott is ready yet.

It was a line he used once again after the 3-2 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers. It begs the question of why the youngster was brought on in the dying minutes against Wolves and what exactly he was supposed to do in such a short space of time.

Mourinho’s Hypocrisy?

By including him as the 19th man in the first team squad, Mourinho has ensured that the player doesn’t get time to play for the Under-23s as well.

The Portuguese’s antics seem counter-intuitive to his words as Parrott just isn’t being given the chance to prove himself on the field. It is all the more confusing when you consider what exactly Mourinho was trying to achieve by bringing the youngster on so late.

Troy Parrott

Troy Parrott has six goals in four UEFA Youth League games this season

Better in natural positions?

Lucas and Bergwijn may be more accomplished players than Parrott but they are not forwards. In spite of their skills on the ball, they lack a striker’s instinct to finish off moves or the intuition to make the right runs at the right time. The same lack of positional requirements could be levied on Parrott if he is asked to play as a midfielder.

Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn

Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn will be better off in their natural positions

Spurs of late have failed to create chances, leaving the strikers isolated up top. This can be attributed to having your best creative players play up front rather than where their strength is better utilized. It can be argued that by trying to take a step forward, we are indeed taking three back.

It is not a coincidence that Bergwijn’s performances have dropped ever since he started playing upfront. Moura’s game too has dropped with him spending long periods in anonymity. They are just being asked to do a job in a position they are unfamiliar with, especially when a player to do is available.

More Tottenham Hotspur News

This isn’t to claim that Parrott will turn himself into a scoring sensation overnight. At the very least Spurs will have someone making the right runs at the right time playing upfront while also allowing the likes of Lucas and Bergwijn to flourish in midfield. Most importantly, Spurs will have a striker play upfront.

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