Roy Hodgson: 'Wilfried Zaha was a target for West Brom'

Wilfried Zaha
© PA Photos
England boss Roy Hodgson has no fears that Wilfried Zaha will reject England to play for the Ivory Coast.

England boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed that he tried to sign Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha when he was the manager of West Bromwich Albion.

The 20-year-old looks likely to make his international debut against Sweden on Wednesday, but Hodgson has refused to discuss suggestions that Zaha could yet opt to play for the Ivory Coast.

"I've watched him over a couple of years, he was a transfer target at West Brom and I know what kind of player he was. For me when an opportunity arose it was the obvious thing to do," Hodgson told reporters.

"If any player prefers to play for another team other than England they are welcome to do so. If our national team is not motivation, we do not want them in there. I automatically assumed that when I give an England Under-19 player a chance, I expect him to cycle there if necessary.

"I spoke to him, of course, before he joined up. I made it clear to him that we were interested in him, but only if he was interested us and he assured me that. He's played for England at all levels so, it seems to me fairly obvious that if you decide you want to play for England Under-19s and you want to play for England Under-21s you're very happy to accept a call-up to the first national team."

"It seems pretty obvious to me that's where you want to play, but then, perhaps I'm too simple. He's told me that's what he wants to do."

Zaha is expected to be a transfer target for a number of Premier League clubs in January.

Wilfried Zaha
Read Next:
Hamann: 'Too much Zaha hype'
>
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLeicester CityLeicester382312368363281
2Arsenal382011765362971
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs381913669353470
4Manchester CityMan City381991071413066
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991049351466
6Southampton381891159411863
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham381614865511462
8Liverpool3816121063501360
9Stoke CityStoke38149154155-1451
10Chelsea381214125953650
11Everton381114135955447
12Swansea CitySwansea381211154252-1047
13Watford38129174050-1045
14West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom381013153448-1443
15Crystal Palace38119183951-1242
16Bournemouth38119184567-2242
17Sunderland38912174862-1439
RNewcastle UnitedNewcastle38910194465-2137
RNorwich CityNorwich3897223967-2834
RAston Villa3838272776-4917