Palace boss claims Zaha has had his head turned by Premier League interest.
Ian Holloway admits sought-after Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has “had his head on other things” amid serious interest from Premier League clubs.
Holloway has been delighted with Zaha’s performances but admits it has been hard for the youngster to focus amid speculation that he could leave the club this month.
“Wilf has to be disciplined and play for the team and that is what he has done over the past two games, totally and utterly,” he told the Mirror.
“But for the last couple of weeks he’s had his head on other things because it is very hard, as a young man, to keep that level of consistency because people are talking about you.
“If he does what he did against Stoke then a Premier League side will come and get him and if they do, what can I do about it?”
SOURCE: London 24
The race to sign Crystal Palace prodigy Wilfried Zaha is hotting up, with the latest reports suggesting it is a three-way battle between Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal.
The mounting speculation must be a source of frustration for Palace boss Ian Holloway and the colourful tactician has admitted that young Zaha, 20, has had his head turned.
The talented winger has not been at his best in the South Londoners last two Championship matches but, perhaps knowing that more eyes were on him than usual, Zaha produced a fine display in this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Stoke, constantly troubling the Potters’ experienced and resolute back four.
It’s hardly surprising that Zaha has been mulling things over of late. The new England international could have a huge decision to make in a matter of days: join United and consistently challenge for titles and silverwear – but perhaps struggle to dislodge the likes of Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa – or stay in London and opt for one of Spurs or Arsenal.
While Arsenal’s immediate history has been far more glamourous than their North London neighbours, there is a renewed sense of optimism at White Hart Lane under Andre Villas-Boas and Spurs are currently slight favourites to pip the Gunners to the fourth and final Champions League spot.
With Theo Walcott being increasingly used as a central striker at the Emirates and Aaron Lennon the only out-and-out right winger down the road in N17, Zaha will fancy his chances of playing plenty of matches for both clubs but neither look likely to serious challenge the Manchester duo for the Premier League crown any time soon.
Holloway has insisted he doesn’t want to lose Palace’s prized asset but the former Blackpool boss must be hoping the situation is resolved sooner rather than later.
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