Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has said Troy Parrott is a shoo-in for a call-up to the senior squad if he keeps up a prominent position with Tottenham Hotspur squad following the forward's second start of pre-season today.
Parrott played 45 minutes against Manchester United and again showed some impressive touches in the 2-1 defeat.
McCarthy, speaking at a Festival of Football event in Meath, told RTÉ Sport today: "I have a history of playing younger players. Robbie Keane played for me when he was 18.
"Don't for one minute think I’m comparing Troy Parrott to Robbie Keane (but) if he has half as good a career as Robbie had, he’ll be a very good player.
"Since I took the job, I don’t think he has played a game I’ve been able to watch [in person]. The bits I’ve seen have been on the analysis. Robbie has seen a bit of him, clearly our underage coaches have too and if Mauricio Pochettino is playing him in Spurs’ first-team then that’s a ringing endorsement.
"If he starts for Spurs he has to be a shoo-in to get in the squad."
McCarthy hailed the achievements of the Ireland Under-19 side in reaching the last four of the European Championship, describing their manager Tom Mohan as "terrific".
"They had a great run and lost to a far better side in Portugal. In Tom Mohan they have a terrific coach. He really engages and gets the best out of them.
"Let’s not forget he was deprived of a lot of players, Troy being one. It was a great achievement by them. Congratulations to Tom, his staff and his players."
The FAI Annual General Meeting takes place this Saturday amid a cloud of uncertainty over the future of Irish football, particularly financially.
"I’ve not been keeping tabs on it as I’ve been in America for the last three weeks and they don’t really report it in the New York Times or wherever else," said McCarthy.
"Of course, I have sort have been kept up to date with it, but only what I need to know.
"Quite clearly it’s not affected me, the players. Since the stupid tennis ball stuff, and if you watch that video again where Glenn Whelan throws the ball back into the crowd, I think you knew what he thought of it. It’s not affected us at all and continues to have no affect on me at all.
"What I will say is you can see here that with everyone out here and the goodwill we have had, the support for the team is back and I’m delighted with that."