Tottenham Hotspur are a club that can’t always buy their next successful talent, and they’re continually looking for ways to get the most out of their academy. We have seen that strategy come to fruition not only with Harry Kane, but also more recently with Harry Winks, as well as a number of other academy graduates on the cusp of the first team such as Josh Onomah and Cameron Carter-Vickers.
The challenge is finding young talent to continually refresh the academy ranks as players age out, and Spurs may have just landed a potentially important young player after agreeing to sign 15-year old Irish striker Troy Parrott.
Parrott is apparently considered one of the top Irish players in his generation, and Spurs nabbed him after beating off advances from United, City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton, and Southampton. He’s a product of Belvedere FC in Ireland, a noted school that has developed numerous Irish international footballers over the years including Stephen Kelly, Stephen Elliot, and Wes Hoolahan. Spurs aren’t allowed to formally sign him until he turns 16, but there are reports suggesting that he’s already training with the club in Enfield.
I’m not going to pretend that I know anything about this kid, because I don’t, but from what I’m reading he’s a prolific scorer at the youth level and has already represented (and scored for) Ireland at the U15 level. Mauricio Pochettino was reportedly tipped off to Parrott after his son Maurizio (now with Spurs’ U15s) played against him in a match in Belgium and had very positive things to say.
Belvedere’s director of football Vincent Butler also spoke glowingly about Parrott.
“It becomes obvious after a while about those players who have an extra spark. With some you can tell from nine or 10, with Troy it didn’t become clear just how good he was until he was around 12. That’s when we realized.
“... He’s big and strong and very, very active. He’s all action and very skillful, very brave. He’s non-stop, he never stops running, he chases everything down. He’s the ideal sort of player to have. He’s a real handful.
‘He’s a nice kid, he’s not big headed or anything like that. He’s considerate toward his own players. He encourages people on the pitch. He hasn’t exhibited any nasty streak as yet and hopefully that’s how he remains. I would say I think he will come through. He could get on international teams early because of the presence he has.”
Development curves are wildly unpredictable, and there isn’t a direct correlation between success at the youth level and success at the top levels of club football. However, these are the kinds of young players that Premier League clubs clamor for. Parrott may end up a Premier League player, or he could plateau and find his level somewhere further down the pyramid, but it certainly sounds like there are reasons for Spurs fans to keep an eye on him over the next few years.