Crystal Palace boss Hodgson bemoans ‘external influences’ around Zaha


Published: 08:39 BST, 12 September 2020 | Updated: 17:35 BST, 12 September 2020

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson believes star man Wilfried Zaha has had ‘ideas put in his head’ regarding his future ahead of the new Premier League season.

The 27-year-old Ivorian has been linked with moves to London rivals Chelsea as well as Paris Saint-Germain, while Borussia Dortmund and Monaco were also credited with an interest earlier in the window.

However, Hodgson – who was speaking ahead of Palace’s opening game against Southampton on Saturday – has lamented the ‘external influences’ around the club’s star forward but has sympathised with the player himself, claiming he is battling ‘a few demons’ as a result.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson (above) believes Wilfried Zaha has had ‘ideas put in his head’

‘There are a lot of things being said and a lot of people putting ideas into his head,’ Hodgson, 73, said.

‘So it’s not the easiest thing for him to come to terms with. The external influences are quite great and he has to battle a few demons there.

‘But I must say I’m basing my opinion on what he is doing at the moment. His training and the matches he has played for us, there has been no problem at all.

‘You’d have to speak to Wilf to find out the exact state of his psyche — but I’m not concerned.’

Zaha cut a frustrated figure at times last season and scored just four Premier League goals

Despite his talisman status at Palace, the Ivory Coast international cut a frustrated figure at times last season and managed just four Premier League goals, his worst return for four years for the Selhurst Park side.

It came after a summer in which he failed to earn a move to interested parties Arsenal or Everton, but Chelsea and PSG have still shown interest a year on. 

And Hodgson has warned him he needs to boost his performances in front of goal if he is to attract further interest from the world’s leading clubs.  

Hodgson has warned him he must boost his performances in front of goal to secure a move

‘I’m surprised we don’t get more people knocking on our door who are willing to pay a sensible price for him because he’s such a good player,’ Hodgson continued.

‘He might get a bit frustrated sometimes that we aren’t having to turn down offers every single day from some of the top clubs in the world.

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