Mark Lawrenson is always vocal about his support for Preston – and he has reiterated it once again.
Born in Penwortham, Lawrenson came up through the Preston ranks before going on to play for Brighton, Liverpool, Barnet and Tampa Bay Rowdies.
The 62-year-old often gives a shout-out to North End whilst working as a pundit, and it’s happened again whilst speaking to Ireland’s Off The Ball on Sunday.
Lawrenson was asked about the future of Tottenham Hotspur striker Troy Parrott, with the Irish media unsurprisingly interested in the teenager’s situation at Spurs.
Even with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min out of action, Irish youngster Parrott hasn’t been given much of a chance. Jose Mourinho keeps saying he isn’t ready, and brought him on for a matter of moments in the 3-2 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
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That has left many worried about Parrott’s situation under Mourinho, with fears that he just won’t play enough football to progress. As Ireland’s great young hope, Parrott’s playing time has become a big talking point in Ireland.
Now, ex-Ireland international Lawrenson has suggested that Parrott ‘absolutely’ needs a loan move this summer, and talked up both Preston and the Championship, believing second-tier football is ‘brilliant’ for young players and it’s the only way young players can improve.
“Absolutely,” said Lawrenson. “The under-23’s doesn’t really mean a lot, they need to be played. The Championship is brilliant. I’m a massive Preston fan, I watch loads at Preston, and you see loads of loan players – that’s the only way that you can see that they’d improve,” he added.
Lawrenson didn’t exactly tout North End as a destination, but when you actually think about it, a loan move to Deepdale does make some sense.
We have a strong Irish contingent as things stand with Seani Maguire, Alan Browne and Joe Rafferty, whilst Adam O’Reilly and Graham Burke are also still owned by North End.
Preston need a goalscorer from somewhere, and with top strikers costing millions, a loan deal for a Premier League youngster could be a route for Alex Neil and co to take.
Parrott needs a strong dressing room at the age of 18, and joining veterans like Tom Clarke, Paul Huntington, Paul Gallagher and David Nugent could be ideal for his development.
Deepdale may not be a sexy destination for Premier League wonderkids, but when it comes to Parrott, Tottenham could do a lot worse than send him up to Lancashire – and no doubt please Lawrenson in the process.