The failure of England’s so-called “golden generation” at this summer’s World Cup has brought new focus to the up and coming young talent at international level. This time, the spotlight shines on Tottenham and England U-19 international Dean Parrett.
Parrett is an all-action midfielder with great drive and technique, aided no doubt by his attendance at Davor Suker’s Austrian branch of his coaching academy. Spurs’ then sporting director Damien Comolli had this to say about the precocious youngster:
“Dean is exactly the kind of player we want to attract to our club, a player who will be part of the next generation to come through to the first team.”
“He is an extremely talented young player who has that rare combination of pace, aggression and creativity.”
Tottenham beat off competition from the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to sign the talented schoolboy from fellow London club QPR. Spurs first signed the young midfielder to a schoolboy contract in 2007 and then a full time academy contract a year later. As a 15 year old playing at QPR, Parrett was already an established youth international with England, featuring for the U-16 side as they managed to retain the Victory Shield 2006.
Despite being only 16 years old, Parrett featured regularly for Spurs’ U-18 academy side and his excellent performances led to the youngster being named captain for the second half of the season. In addition to making the step up at club level, Parrett make the jump to the England U-18’s where he was also a regular fixture in the side.
Since signing a professional deal in December 2008, Parrett had already graduated to the reserve team and found himself called up to the first team squad, earning a spot on the bench for Tottenham’s UEFA cup group stage game against Spartak Moscow. His first team debut was to follow shortly when Harry Redknapp selected Parrett to start in Tottenham’s first leg knockout tie against eventual cup winners Shakhtar Donetsk, where the young midfielder impressed in the heart of Tottenham’s midfield. Off the back of his accomplished display in the Ukraine, Redknapp gave Parrett his second first-team appearance in the return leg at White Hart Lane, with the midfielder coming on as a late second half substitute.
Parrett’s reputation continued to go from strength to strength and he was named as part of Redknapp’s provisional squad for the 2009 Carling Cup final in which Spurs were defeated by Manchester United.
Parrett was sent on loan last season to League Two side Aldershot Town where he played four times for the Hampshire team during a one month period. He then returned to White Hart Lane where he played eighteen times for the U-18’s, scoring three goals in another promising season at the club’s academy.
This off-season saw Parrett play for the England U-19’s in the European U-19 Championship Finals held in France. Here, Parrett turned in a number of solid performances for Noel Blake’s Young Lions as they reached the semi-final stage of a fiercely competitive tournament.
Parrett has all of the tools to be successful both at club and international level. His tournament experience with England will stand the midfielder in good stead as he looks to develop into a regular for club and country in the years to come.