Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew is set to convince the club’s prolific player Wilfred Zaha to play for the Three Lions but has asked that the national team step up if they want to persuade the player who is frustrated with lack of international recognition.
“Gareth is someone I know very well and we’ve spoken about Wilf. You’ve got to be really proactive with someone like Wilf if you want to secure him. I keep encouraging Gareth and Dan Ashworth as well,” Pardew said.
Pardew added that whilst he knew there were several players that could play wide in the England national team set-up he advised them to tap into Zaha’s availability, saying the player can do better.
“There are some good wide players in the country; Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andros Townsend, Jesse Lingard, and I think Wilf is as good as them, if not better.
“I’ve managed 300 Premier League games, I’ve managed Tevez and Mascherano, I’ve managed Teddy Sheringham, Yossi Bernayoun, Jermain Defoe, Michael Carrick – and I put him right up there with all of those,” Pardew declared.
Zaha earned two call-ups to the English camp but he could switch his allegiance to his African dissent – Ivory Coast. Pardew claimed the danger of the player switching was “very dangerous at the moment.”
Pardew said the player has scored a great goal, worked hard every week but wants the country to do better. Premier League giant Manchester United bought the player three years ago for £10 million but returned the player after an underwhelming debut season.
“That’s how I’ve tried to channel his energy. It’s not about showing people at Man United what you can do. Just be a better player. That’s what he’s doing,” Pardew added.