Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew says England “are making a big mistake” by failing to secure the allegiance of Wilfried Zaha.
Zaha has represented the Three Lions twice at senior international level but only in friendlies, and has now made himself available to Ivory Coast, the country of his birth, after being overlooked by England since 2013.
The 24-year-old has impressed at club level in recent weeks, scoring in the 5-4 loss to Swansea and netting a stunner as Palace drew 3-3 at Hull last time out.
On Wednesday ,Zaha will line up against his former side when Manchester United arrive at Selhurst Park.
Addressing the media ahead of the Premier League clash, Pardew called on England manager Gareth Southgate to prevent the exciting forward from completing his defection.
“I’ll tell you something, the form he’s in just now, England are making a big mistake letting him slip through the net, they really are,” Pardew said.
“Gareth is someone I know very well and we’ve spoken about Wilf. I think you’ve got to be really proactive with someone like Wilf, if you want to secure him.”
Earlier this month Southgate expressed his desire to change Zaha’s mind.
And Pardew feels the Eagles star compares favourably with many of his countrymen in similar positions.
“When I look at Wilf and I look at the talent, I can’t see that talent in too many English players in the Premier League who are playing week in, week out,” he said.
“But he’s stacking up the numbers and he’s doing everything else. England really need to keep an eye on that situation.”
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