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'
>
Related Video
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leicester CityLeicester352210363333076
2Tottenham HotspurSpurs351912465263969
3Manchester CityMan City35197966343264
4Arsenal351810758342464
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd34178942301259
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham341414657431456
7Liverpool341510958451355
8Southampton351591149371254
9Chelsea341211115346747
10Stoke CityStoke35138143751-1447
11Everton34914115348541
12Watford34118153340-741
13West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom351011143243-1141
14Bournemouth35118164261-1941
15Swansea CitySwansea351010153449-1540
16Crystal Palace35109163645-939
17Sunderland34710173957-1831
18Norwich CityNorwich3487193560-2531
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3579193864-2630
RAston Villa3537252569-4416