Ronnie Rosenthal has never been a pushy parent. Of course he wants his son, Tom, to make it in the Premier League — which dad wouldn’t . But he says he has no plans to fast-track him, even after the youngster’s sensational strike for Belgium under-18s.
Watford midfielder Tom, 17, received rave reviews after scoring the goal of the game in Belgium’s 2-0 victory in a friendly over Luxembourg.
Winning the ball near the half-way line, he showed precocious strength as he slalomed past five players before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper. He was handed a full-time scholarship by Watford earlier this year, and has a contract until the end of the 2014/2015 season.
Ronny Rosenthal said: “There has been interest in Tom from Premier League teams, but I think he needs to gain a bit of pace, then he’ll be a real English player.
"We’re in no rush, he only signed his first full-time contract three months ago."
Born in England, Rosenthal junior began as an eight-year-old with London Maccabi Lions.
The powerful 6ft 2” player qualifies for Belgium through his mother, Nancy, although he is still eligible to play for either England or Israel having only played in a friendly.
Ronny Rosenthal said there has been no interest from England at youth level, but "Belgium have been tracking Tom for a while. He took part in an Israel under-17 training camp under Alon Hazan, but we have no plans to return to the country, so I don’t think that’s realistic."
Indeed, it was a good few days all round for the Rosenthal family, with Dean, Ronnie’s other son, scoring in for his MGBSFL team Brixton Old Boys.