England manager Gareth Southgate should ‘hang his head in shame’ for allowing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha to switch allegiances to play for Ivory Coast.
That’s the opinion of Simon Jordan, who told talkSPORT the Eagles winger is ‘every bit as good’ as Manchester City starlet Leroy Sane.
Zaha was born in the Ivory Coast grew up in Croydon after his family moved to England.
Coming through the ranks at Palace, Zaha represented England at Under-19 and Under-21 levels before being called up to the senior team by Roy Hodgson, making two appearances in friendlies against Sweden and Scotland.
But after seeing his opportunities dry up, he swapped the Three Lions for the country of his birth in 2016 and has gone on to make eight caps, scoring two goals, for Les Éléphants.
And former Crystal Palace chairman Jordan believes the 25-year-old is a big loss for England ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, saying he has emerged as one of the Premier League’s brightest young forwards.
“Zaha wasn’t ready to join Manchester United, he was a boy from south London bowling around Old Trafford and he wasn’t ready for the elevated expectations.
“But this is a player now.
“Everything about his movement, his energy, the way he picks the ball up, his balance, poise and contribution to the team – all I want to see from him is more goals.
“In my view, I think he’s every bit as good as Leroy Sane and he is right up there on the scale,
“I think Zaha is a hell of a player.
“Obviously we’ve lost him from England which I think is a crime, and I think Gareth Southgate should hang his head in shame.
“We managed to lose a player who was playing for the England youth setup and went all the way through to getting two caps.
“Yes, they were only friendly caps, but he showed the wherewithal to play for England, but all of a sudden he’s playing for the Ivory Coast!”