Former Republic of Ireland striker Stephen Elliott believes Troy Parrott should not feel pressured to step up despite David McGoldrick's shock retirement announcement.
"I was a bit surprised," Elliott told the RTÉ Soccer Podcast. "He’s not an age where you would think he was ready to step down, and he hasn’t played a lot of international football, he came into the scene a little later than most.
"To lose a player of his calibre, playing in the Premier League and amongst the goals, is a big blow for Ireland.
"The fact that he has played a lot of his career in the lower divisions, and he has now finally made it to the Premier League, I played with David at Coventry and that was always his dream.
"He has finally got there and he’s in the latter stages of his career, maybe he wants to prolong that."
Parrott on the other hand made his senior appearance at the age of 17 last year when Ireland secured a victory over New Zealand.
According to reports, the youngster is on his way back to being fit after Jim Crawford called him up to the U21 squad ahead of the European Championship qualifiers against Iceland and Luxembourg.
"There are such big expectations around Troy, I just worry that all it doesn’t become a bit too much for him pressure-wise," Elliott continued.
"You get a little bit excited when he’s scoring goals for the young international teams and people are saying he could be the next Harry Kane but I think we have to take a back seat with Troy and let him get a run of games in the first team and build up physically. It is a bit different to playing U21, U23 football.
"From what I have seen he has more finishing ability and knowledge of the game than even some of the other younger lads coming through.
"So there’s no doubt he has the credentials to go on and be a top star for Ireland and it’s just a matter of finding the right time to integrate him into the team and the squad. I think Stephen Kenny will be fully aware of that.
"When Jack Byrne first broke onto the scene there was talk of him being a superstar and it didn’t quite work that way so we have to be a little bit careful."