By Adebayo Williams
England manager Gareth Southgate has stated his readiness to convince Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha to rethink his decision to shun the Three Lions for Cote d’Ivoire.
Zaha announced last month that he intends to switch allegiance to Ivory Coast, the country of his birth, despite having already made two friendly appearances for England during Roy Hodgson’s tenure.
“We are still, first and foremost, hopeful that we can speak to Wilf,” he said. “He’s a player I’ve worked with at Under-21s level and he has played very well this season.
“I’ve had a conversation about him with [Palace manager] Alan Pardew and also with Palace chairman Steve Parish.
“He is certainly someone who has the talent, is in a good moment with his club and ideally I’d like to talk to him before he makes that decision final.
“I cannot assess whether he has gone too far down the road until I speak with him.”
Zaha made his England debut in a 2012 friendly versus Sweden before appearing against Scotland in August 2013, having previously been capped at both U-19 and U-21 level.