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Championship star and England youngster has attracted serious interest from Premier League big boys but has been warned not to leave the club too soon and lose regular game time

Crystal Palace teen sensation Wilfried Zaha has been urged to shrug off the attentions of his admiring suitors for now and concentrate on firing the club to the League Cup final at Wembley.

Zaha has attracted a lot of attention from some of the Premier League’s top clubs this season, including Liverpool and Newcastle in recent weeks, and Palace captain Paddy McCarthy has been impressed with what he’s seen.

“Wilfried is a special talent, probably the most naturally gifted individual I have come across in my career, and this is the perfect club for him at the moment," he told reporters

"Every week, you see the improvement in these kids because they are being managed the right way. It would be criminal for these lads to move on too soon in their careers."

McCarthy offered up the cautionary tale of one-time wonderkid John Bostock, a player formally on Palace’s books who left for the bright lights of the top flight back in 2008 at the tender age of 16 and who has yet to fulfil his potential.

He added: "Dougie Freedman [Palace's manager] won't stand in their way if they need to move on - but he won't let them leave too early, as we have seen with the likes of John Bostock.”

McCarthy is hoping that the lure of a possible Wembley showdown against Premier league big boys, one of Liverpool or Manchester City, is enough to temporarily postpone such a move.

"I'm sure Wilfried will be with us for the second leg against Cardiff, and to stay involved in this fantastic journey we've been on," he said.

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