Jose Mourinho has discussed Troy Parrott’s continued absence from the Tottenham first-team, despite the club’s striker crisis, likening him to Man Utd midfielder, Scott McTominay.
The north London side are currently without a recognised centre-forward following the injuries to Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, with the club’s fanbase having clamoured for the inclusion of Irish prospect Parrott in recent weeks as Spurs seek a solution to their lack of goal threat.
The 18-year-old is regarded as one the club’s finest young talents and earned his first senior cap for Ireland last year, though ahead of tonight’s FA Cup tie with Norwich, Mourinho has once again insisted that the youngster is not ready for regular first-team football despite the expectations and anticipation from the Spurs‘ fans.
“This is a world where lots of people, they don’t even know if Troy has long hair or short hair,” Mourinho said at his pre-match press conference.
“Or is blonde or is dark. They don’t even know that and speak about: Troy, Troy, Troy, Troy, he should play.
“There was a guy behind me on the bench the other day: Play Troy, play Troy. I don’t think he knows Troy.”
Parrott made a late substitute appearance during the defeat to Wolves last weekend, before being sent back to the club’s U23 side with a message to prove himself, the teenager responding with the opening goal during a 45-minute outing for the development side.
"If Mourinho thought he deserves the opportunity, he'd throw him in." ✅
"Troy's got to earn that right by training well." ⚽️
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) March 4, 2020
Mourinho admits he was pleased with the youngster’s performance, but seemed to question the forwards ‘mentality’, likening Parrott’s development to that of Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay during his time as manager at Old Trafford, the Scot going on to become one of the Portuguese’s most trusted players.
“I was so happy with the way he performed and I’m not speaking about the goal that he scored,” Mourinho said of Parrott’s outing in the under-23s.
“I told him before the game, every time you play with the kids of your age, you have to show your colleagues why you are the privileged one.
“Why you are training in the first team every day and some of them are not – they are still in the group age. Because it was something that he was not doing.
“Every time he was playing with the kids, he was playing with the mentality of, ‘I shouldn’t be here’ or ‘I am too good to be here’ or ‘It’s not here that I want to play’. And this is an educational process that comes.
“I have no problem to say because I know that he will confirm – I had exactly the same words with Scott McTominay.
“At the moment, he was not loved in his group age. Because he was not with the right frame of mind.
🇵🇹 Jose Mourinho on Spurs striker Troy Parrott:
🤐 “We are taking very good care of him. We cannot tell you every single details”.
🤨 “We are taking care of a player and a young boy. He's 18 but one month ago he was 17.”
— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) March 3, 2020
“The moment we started changing that, lots of things started changing for him. And every time he was going to the team, he was the best.
“He was the best in everything, the best in attitude, the best in character. This is the way you work with kids and if, in these generations, kids, they have things too easy in life, I think it’s part of the education to also see the other side.
“So I think Troy will come even stronger and stronger when everything happens step by step. And not immediately.
“Because he is not ready for immediately. So it is a process.”