Former Manchester United defender John O’Shea believes that Troy Parrott’s senior breakthrough can only be good news for the Republic of Ireland.
The 17-year-old made his senior competitive debut for Tottenham earlier in the season under Mauricio Pochettino when the North Londoners lost in the Carabao Cup to Colchester United.
New head coach Jose Mourinho handed Parrott his first appearance in the Premier League on Saturday when he came on as an 85th minute replacement for Dele Alli during the 5-0 demolition of Burnley.
O’Shea is expecting Parrott to feature more regularly for Mourinho’s side over the Christmas period with the fixtures set to come thick and fast.
The ex-Ireland defender claims that Mourinho, like his predecessor Pochettino, has seen Parrott’s raw potential during training.
Ireland head into the Euro 2020 play-offs next March with Parrott hoping to be involved after receiving his first senior cap in a friendly against New Zealand last month.
O’Shea told RTE: “It’s huge, it really is. Obviously, there’s a lot of hype about him but Mourinho has obviously seen something in training.
“Whether it be his personality, his physicality. You’re not going to be able to play in Premier League if you’re physically able to cope with it.
“Pochettino had him in training with the first team too. If you’re impressing Mourinho and Pochettino, you must be doing something right.
“Fingers crossed, he stays fit and healthy. I’m sure he’ll get a bit more game time over the Christmas period and it could be a big boost for Ireland heading into March.”
He added: “Mourinho will know the scrutiny that he’s under. When he’s gone into teams, people have said he hasn’t really looked at the youth set-up and the younger players coming through.
“When he took the job, he spoke about the academy and the younger and obviously a lot of people would have thought that was a bit of a smokescreen.
“But if a player stands out like hopefully Troy Parrot is doing, it just takes care of itself.
“Harry Kane is going to need that competition and a bit of rest here and there, and if Troy Parrott can get the benefit of that and showcase his talents, it’s going to be huge for Ireland.”
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