Holloway: Zaha is unique and can play at the very top level

The new Crystal Palace boss has hailed the 20-year-old youngster as "utterly refreshing" and believes the attacker will set the game alight if he gets the chance against Sweden
Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has lauded young forward Wilfried Zaha as "unique" and a "pure talent" and believes the player has a very bright future ahead of him.

The 20-year-old has been given the chance to represent England after being drafted into Roy Hodgson's squad for the friendly versus Sweden, and the new Palace coach believes he will win many new fans if he gets the chance to show what he can do on Wednesday.

"He is so unique," Holloway told the Daily Mirror. "He is an untouched, pure talent. I've never worked with anyone like him - he just wants to get the ball and beat people, however many there are, he can do it.

"Before I got to Palace, I was hearing a lot about this boy and I thought, 'Is he better than anybody else?'

"Now I have seen him. Good gracious me, it is quite unbelievable what he can do, and hopefully, a lot of fans around the country will see him still progress because it is so pure.

"You just want to give him the ball. I find myself willing my other players to give it to him because the more he has it, the better my team does.

"Hopefully, if he does play on Wednesday, people will see that and I believe he can do it at the very, very top level.

"If he gets the ball, whoever is in front of him, wherever they are from or whoever they represent, be it a Championship player, a Premier League defender or an international player, I believe Wilfried can beat them.

"The more I see him, the more I am convinced that is the case.

11/4 Wilfried Zaha is 11/4 with bet365 to score at anytime against Sweden
"I think people will see that his ability to actually beat someone is as good as anybody, anywhere else I have seen.

"I think it is totally and utterly refreshing and if he gets the chance to do it for the full England team on Wednesday, then I think you lot will be talking even more about him because I am sure he can beat those Swedes. To beat people is a wonderful thing to see.

"Hopefully he will enjoy it and might produce something that might help us win a game, and prove to people that he is an up and coming talent.

"I am sure Wilfried will be a better player and a better person when he comes back to me on Thursday."

Although Zaha has been called up to the England squad, as it is a friendly match the Ivory Coast-born forward could still choose to play for his country of birth. However, Holloway has urged the promising youngster to take advantage of the opportunity presented, and that the decision on his international future can be made at a later date.

"At the moment, I just want him to totally and utterly enjoy himself and express himself," Holloway said.

"I just want him to go and play with a smile on his face. I am never going to let my mouth write a cheque that his body can't cash.

"The boy is fresh, youthful, exuberant and if he can take this into a game, I think the England supporters, or the Ivory Coast supporters, will see what he can do.

"At the end of the day, this is a friendly and he can play in a friendly without committing himself and he should and that was my advice to him."