Hodgson warns Zaha to commit to England amid Ivory Coast talk

The ex-Fulham boss believes that the chance to play for the Three Lions should be reason enough for the coveted Crystal Palace youngster to decide over which country to represent
Roy Hodgson has warned Wilfried Zaha to commit his international future to England amid talk that the youngster could yet decide to represent Cote D'Ivoire.

The Crystal Palace starlet has been rewarded for his blistering start to the Championship season by receiving a call-up for the Three Lions' friendly against Sweden.

Even if the 20-year-old appears in Wednesday's non-competitive fixture, he will still be able to later represent Ivory Coast, the country of his birth, but Hodgson thinks that he should declare his allegiance to England.

"This is a very simple one for me," he told reporters. "If any player prefers to play for a team other than England they're welcome to do so.

17/2 Wilfried Zaha is 17/2 with Bet365 to score the last goal in Sweden v England
"If the chance to play for our national team is not strong enough motivation for players, they're not type of players we want anyway.

"I automatically - perhaps naively - assume that, when I give a chance to a player who has played for the Under-19s and Under-21s, I expect him to cycle there if necessary and not only make himself available but almost thank us for the opportunity.

"He was a transfer target for West Brom when I was manager there. We followed him. I know the type of player he is and the quality he brings.

"When the opportunity arose to bring him into the squad, for me it was the obvious thing to do to ask him to come in."

Hodgson also revealed his delight at being able to include fit-again Jack Wilshere in his squad after the midfielder spent 16 months on the sidelines injured.

"I spoke to Jack two months ago and he was just recovering then. I said it would be nice if he was fit enough to come along and share the journey," the England boss recalled.

"He has made a quicker recovery which gives me a chance to use him for some part of the game. There was never any intention to start him and play him for 90 minutes."