Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has said teenager Troy Parrott is a "shoo-in" for a call up to the senior squad if he remains involved with the Tottenham first-team at the start of the season.
The 17-year-old started in attack alongside Harry Kane in Spurs' 2-1 friendly defeat to Manchester United in China yesterday, after impressing against Juventus last week.
McCarthy said competitive football rather than friendly appearances will determine whether Parrott makes the Ireland squad for this autumn's Euro 2020 qualifiers.
The Ireland boss told the Irish Examiner's Liam Mackey: “It’s the season that counts, not pre-season.
“To be battled-hardened to play against a really good Swiss side you have got to be playing or got to have played last season for a long period of time.”
However, he was keen to point out that he would apply much the same kind of requirement to someone at the other end of the experience scale, like Everton’s James McCarthy, who is desperate to re-float his career after being so long sidelined through injury.
“I’d like to see him playing in September,” said McCarthy. “You all probably know that there are some stories that he might be moving to Crystal Palace, sooner rather than later - for him, for me. So he should be in a place to get a game for the first game of the season.
"He has done the pre-season and I think he is waiting to get his move. And so am I.”
McCarthy said he was delighted to see Callum Robinson join promoted Sheffield United in the Premier League but again underlined that, for his purposes, the important follow-on is that the former Preston man actually gets playing time.
“I don’t want players at Premier League clubs, I want players playing at football clubs, preferably in the Premier League,” was how he put it.