Niall Quinn believes Republic of Ireland striker Troy Parrott will benefit from what he describes as José Mourinho’s “tough love” at Tottenham.
Spurs boss Mourinho has stated his opinion that 18-year-old Parrott is not ready to play first-team football and has been reluctant to hand him chances to start in his team despite long-term injuries to his first choice forwards Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Yet former Republic of Ireland striker Quinn has insisted Parrott should take Mourinho’s criticism in his stride, as he suggested the Dubliner could look back on this formative stage of his career in a positive light in years to come.
The Virgin Media Sport analyst said: “Troy Parrott is only a young lad and if we take away all the headlines, all the debate, all the cameras and the focus on him right now, what I would say is these knocks will make him better in the long run.
“I have seen so many players coming through down the years with a big reputation and people saying they are the next big thing, but it doesn’t always work out like that.
For every Wayne Rooney, a lot more don’t make it and fade away. Having it too easy at the start can be detrimental to a young player in terms of the longevity of his career. Getting some tough love and being made aware that this game is not easy might not be a bad thing for Troy.
“What he will have out of this period of time is a build-up of resilience and strength that will serve him well in the future. He might think it is tough at the moment, but give him a couple of years and we will hopefully see the player we want him to be.
“Now he is fully aware that he has to work hard to become a top-class player. From what I have seen of him, he has the ability to make it, but it is tough for him at the moment, but that toughness is what will stand him in food stead in the long run.”
Parrott may be on the bench for Tottenham as they attempt to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Red Bull Leipzig in tomorrow night’s last-16 game in Germany, with Quinn stunned by the scale of the decline of the north London club since their appearance in last season’s Champions League final.
“This is a really difficult period for Spurs and for Mourinho right now,” he added. “It is quite amazing to see a team that reached the Champions League final last season fall as quickly as they have.
“Compare what has happened to Liverpool as they have the Premier League won by March and then you look at Spurs and they are struggling badly.
“They are in a hole, but they are still in the Champions League and still fighting. The Red Bull Leipzig game will be tough for them given their lack of attacking options, but we saw them come from nowhere to beat Ajax in the semi-finals of the competition last season and it shows that anything is possible.
“They didn’t have Harry Kane in their team that night either, so you can never say a match is over.”
Virgin Media Sport will screen Red Bull Leipzig v Tottenham live from 8pm on Tuesday night.