Three Lions coach Chris Powell says Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast star man Wilfried Zaha has proved he is a quality player with his consistency for the South London side ahead of England’s friendly against the Ivory Coast.
Zaha will be in the starting line-up to face England tomorrow night at Wembley having featured twice for the Three Lions before opting to play for Ivory Coast, the country he was born in.
The 30-year-old was born in Abidjan but raised in Croydon where he cut his teeth in football before joining the Crystal Palace academy and working his way up.
Blessed with technique and dribbling ability, Zaha was knocking on the doors of England by age 20, and even though he made appearances against Sweden, in that game often remembered for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stunning overhead kick, and against Scotland a year later, it was soon clear by his constant omission that he was not going to have a key role to play for England.
On Tuesday night Zaha will come up against his club mates Marc Guehi, Conor Gallagher and Tyrick Mitchell who have all been called up for this international assignment.
But Three Lions coach Chris Powell says Zaha has no point to prove because he has shown with his performances at club level that he is a top football player.
He told South London Press: “Wilf Zaha has shown what a top quality Premier League player he has been for a number of years and how important he is to Palace.
“He has been their mainstay and go-to guy for a very long time. That is slightly changing now with the emergence of [Michael] Olise and the return of [Eberechi]Eze.
“You add in Guehi and [Joachim] Andersen and they look a really good, well-balanced team.
“There is obviously history with Wilf. He played for England at senior level and also the younger age groups but chose to make a change for, I suppose, family heritage reasons – which is fine.
“It would be interesting if all those guys were on the pitch together, Wilf, Marc, Tyrick and Conor, who is on loan. That would be a wonderful dynamic for all the Palace players and the fans.”