Hodgson warns Zaha to commit to England amid Ivory Coast talk

The England 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 Ivory Coast.

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, as the friendly will not cap-tie him, but Hodgson thinks that he should declare his allegiance to England.

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

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