Opinion: The Europa Conference League could provide a lifeline for Troy Parrott

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

After two unsuccessful loan spells for Troy Parrott in the last campaign, only scoring twice in 32 games, a decision needs to be made next season for the teenage striker, stay at Spurs and feature in the Europa Conference League or risk another loan spell.

Parrott has been regarded by some fans as the next Harry Kane within the Tottenham Hotspur academy, impressing in youth games before making his professional debut in the EFL Cup loss against Colchester United in September 2019.

Following in similar footsteps of the England captain, Parrott temporarily left Spurs last summer in order to gain experience in senior football and joined Championship side Millwall.

He made his debut against Premier League opposition Burnley in the EFL Cup but suffered an ankle injury which ruled him out of action for eight weeks.

The Irishman returned from injury in November and made 14 appearances overall for The Lions, failing to score a single goal, before he was recalled by Spurs in January.

He was re-sent out on loan to Ipswich Town, featuring in 18 games but once again struggled to find the back of the net, although he netted the first senior goal of his career and added a second to his tally in their final game of the season.

A season-long loan spell in the divisions below was an opportunity for Parrott to show Spurs hierarchy that he can replace Kane in the future, instead, it seems to have seriously dented his confidence and could arguably leave the Irishman at crossroads in his Spurs career.

Since spending a season away from North London, teenage striker Dane Scarlett has grabbed the headlines at Spurs after he netted 17 goals in 16 U18 Premier League games, three goals in five Premier League 2 games, and five goals in three FA Youth Cup fixture (TransferMarkt).

His stellar performances saw him rewarded with senior debuts in the Europa League, in which he grabbed an assist within two minutes, and the Premier League.

Despite only being 17 years old, I think Scarlett will feature significantly for Spurs next season, ultimately pushing Parrott further down the pecking order, leaving the Irishman in a tricky situation.

From the club perspective, another loan spell is needed for Parrott to rediscover his goalscoring form. Although after struggling in the Championship and the top of League One, he might need to look further down the table or even League Two for his next adventure.

Kane spent years going out on loan and never really set the world alight at those clubs, but look how he turned out, so Parrott shouldn’t be under too much pressure, but the emergence of Scarlett means the 19-year-old has to perform at his next club.

Or Parrott could remain within the club, train alongside the first team for the whole season and feature in one or two games throughout the season.

Compared to past seasons, there could be plenty more opportunities to feature in Spurs senior squad after the club qualified for UEFA’s new third-tier competition, Europa Conference League.

The lack of quality opposition in the group stage could provide academy players with the opportunity to feature on the European stage, including Parrot, on a more regular basis as the likes of Kane, Heung-Min Son, and other important first-team players are likely to be rested to focus on the Premier League campaign.

Heading out on loan likely means game time every week compared to featuring two times a month, but staying at the club also allows Parrot to train alongside Kane and potentially work with a new manager who shows faith in youth.

Both options have positives for Parrott, joining a lower league club and playing every minute to eventually re-finding his goalscoring boots, or staying in North London to occasionally play against better opposition and train alongside some of the best players in the world.

It all boils down to what Parrott and the next manager feels is the ideal scenario for the youngster, but whatever happens next season, the Irishman needs to become a consistent goalscorer, or his future at Spurs could be in serious doubt.

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