Zaha: I want to establish myself as a Premier League player with a January transfer

The England international has admitted a move to a top-flight club in January could be on the cards providing Crystal Palace agree to let him go
Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha has claimed he wants to establish himself as a Premier League footballer by making a move to the top flight in the January transfer window.

As exclusively revealed on Sunday, Arsenal are in talks to sign the 20-year-old for a fee believed to be in the region of £12 million.

And the England international has now admitted that he would move on should a Premier League club come in for him when the transfer window reopens.

“I want to establish myself in the Premier League and in international football,” he told the Mail on Sunday.

“I’m not a teenager any more, I’ve played more than 100 first-team games and this year is crucial to develop my football career.

“I’ve played a lot in the Championship so having that new challenge in the Premier League, where everyone wants to be, would be great.

“To be honest, if I had the chance in January and Palace agreed, it’s something I’d want to go for,” he added, revealing that his involvement with top-flight players while on England duty has stimulated his ambition.

"The little bits we did in training with England were more intense than I’d been used to," he said.

"Playing with Premier League players tested me, it was a great challenge but I felt comfortable in that company. Steven Gerrard’s shooting made the biggest impression on me. I don’t know how he got that amount of sheer power, it was impressive!"

He also talked about his relationship with Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling, with whom he has become close friends.

“I have a good relationship with Raheem,” he said. “He’s 18 and I can joke around with him. We have that understanding.

“There was an article where people thought I was comparing myself to Ronaldo and Messi. He was bantering with me about it, saying, '‘You think you are better than those guys!' We laughed about it, because he just knew that wasn’t my personality at all really.”

Zaha, who was born in the Ivory Coast, has made 119 first team appearances and scored 15 goals for Crystal Palace since signing for the south London outfit in 2010.