Football | Troy Parrott takes first senior steps

What a moment for Troy Parrott.

The Irish teenager made his first senior start for Spurs in the English club’s pre-season friendly against Juventus in Singapore on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino chose to keep Parrott at the club rather than allow him to compete with the Republic of Ireland in the U19 European Championships in Armenia, and rewarded the young striker with a start against the Old Lady.

Parrott started alongside Heung Min-Son and Dele Alli in the Spurs attack, with Harry Kane starting the game on the bench.

The 17-year-old – who joined Spurs from Belvedere in 2017 – acquitted himself well against a star-studded Juve team including Cristiano Ronaldo, Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci and Miralem Pjanic.

Parrott has long been touted as Robbie Keane’s heir apparent for the Boys in Green given his prolific exploits at underage level for club and country, and he did his reputation no harm in his 45-minute cameo against the Serie A champions.

The Dubliner is renowned as a goalscorer, but his work rate was very impressive against Juventus.

He won the ball back several times through good pressing, pouncing on poor control from Juve defenders to win possession and find a teammate with a composed pass.

The underage Ireland international’s strength also caught the eye; an impressive trait given his youth and inexperience at this level.

Parrott linked up well with Son, picking the South Korea international out with one excellent through ball in an advanced position in the fourth minute.

Son’s effort beat Buffon but struck the outside of the post, and Son hit the side-netting five minutes later from a Parrott flick on.

He played a crucial role in Spurs’ opener as last year’s Champions League finalists took the lead in the 31st minute.

Parrott showed good strength the hold the ball up on the half way line before rolling it out to Son on the right.

Son drove at the Juve defence before slipping the overlapping Parrott in down the right channel.

The Irish striker’s low shot was well saved by Buffon – returning to Italy after a year at PSG – but Erik Lamela was on hand to tap the rebound into an empty net from close range.

Parrott was then booked in the dying seconds of the first half for a high foot.

Unsurprisingly, both Pochettino and Maurizio Sarri – the latter taking charge of Juventus for the first time – decided to freshen things up at the interval.

Spurs made five changes at the break, with Kane replacing Parrott up front for the North London club.

It was a fantastic experience for the teenager to play for 45 minutes against such quality opposition in front of 50,000 supporters in Singapore.

Spurs have had difficulty finding a suitable backup striker to Kane in recent seasons, and Parrott may find himself called upon at times this season.

Gonzalo Higuaín drew Juventus level before the hour mark with an excellent finish following a one-two with Federico Bernardeschi.

Ronaldo fired the Serie A champions into the lead just three minutes later, producing a clever finish from Mattia De Sciglio’s cross.

Tanguy Ndombele came off the bench to make his Spurs debut, and the midfielder had an instant impact, setting up Lucas Moura for Spurs’ second goal.

Kane scored the winner in stoppage time with a stunning effort from the half way line; a goal worthy of winning any game.