Roy Hodgson Admits He Should Have Done More To Persuade Wilfried Zaha To Play For England

Zaha played twice for the Three Lions before choosing to swap to Ivory Coast in 2016

Roy Hodgson has indicated his regret at not being able to persuade Wilfried Zaha to play for England over Ivory Coast. 

Crystal Palace winger Zaha made two appearances for the Three Lions while Hodgson was at the helm, before choosing to switch allegiances to the country of his birth in 2016.

And Hodgson, who has since been reunited with the talented 25-year-old at Selhurst Park, admits he could have done more to stop the move from happening.

Roy Hodgson admits he should have done more to persuade Wilfried Zaha to play for England

‘I gave him his [international] debut as a Crystal Palace player, he got a big move to Manchester United so we didn’t follow up on it enough. I would have to say I bear some responsibility there,’ he said.

‘To be honest he’d have been more than happy to play for England. I think he was just seduced by the Ivory Coast and part of the seduction was ‘you won’t play a lot of games for England, so sign for us instead’.

‘But there are moments in time for footballers. Let’s be fair. At the moment, this season, Wilfried has been in superb form. But there were years before, especially the United years, where perhaps he wasn’t the Wilfried Zaha you see today.’

Zaha has been in superb form for Palace this season, scoring seven times and assisting two goals in 25 appearances to date.

His brace on Saturday against rivals Brighton helped the south London club take a huge step towards Premier League safety.

They now sit six points above the relegation zone with four games of the season left.


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