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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 4 August, 2020

Wilfried Zaha has potential to play for Barcelona, says Pardew

The Crystal Palace boss thinks very highly of the 23-year-old winger.

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and boss Alan Pardew
Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and boss Alan Pardew

THE POSSIBILITIES ARE endless for Wilfried Zaha if he can full his potential, according to Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew.

After returning to Palace on a permanent basis from Manchester United in 2015, Zaha scored five goals and created seven in 43 appearances in all competitions last season.

Zaha has started two of Palace’s three Premier League matches this season and came off the bench to great effect in their clash with Bournemouth prior to the international break.

Consistency has long been Zaha’s problem, though, but Pardew believes the 23-year-old could play for one of Europe’s elite clubs should he improve that aspect of his game.

“This club took him back from Man United when things weren’t going so well and put their money where their mouth is to bring him back,” Pardew told the Croydon Advertiser.

“He’s done great for me, but I think there’s improvement in him. I do think he’s got some improvements to make to be a top player.

“I think we’re a good platform for him to do that in the Premier League. I have tried to say to him I want him to be a massive success here.

If Spurs blew us out of the water or Man City offered £50million and it was Champions League football, okay, it’s because you’re the finished product.

“This is what Wilf’s ambition should be, but he needs to address his goals and assists.

If a club came in with, say, £50-£60million — let’s say a Manchester City, Barcelona or Real Madrid, and he’s got 10 goals and nine assists — as his manager at Crystal Palace I can’t really stand in his way.

“I don’t think our fans would either. He knows he isn’t there yet and he has no problem seeing that. I have told him that. Potentially, he could be.”

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