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Ex-England international Zaha named in Ivory Coast's Africa Cup of Nations squad

The winger is likely to miss a number of key games for Crystal Palace.

Zaha played twice for England under Roy Hodgson.
Zaha played twice for England under Roy Hodgson.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

CRYSTAL PALACE HAVE been dealt a major blow after Wilfried Zaha was included in Ivory Coast’s provisional squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations.

The 24-year-old is now likely to miss key Premier League fixtures after accepting Michel Dussuyer’s call-up for the tournament that gets underway in Gabon on 14 January.

Zaha received permission from Fifa last month to switch allegiances from England despite having played two senior internationals for the Three Lions.

But as those caps were both in friendlies, the former Man United winger remains eligible to line up for the country of his birth.

It is reported that Zaha had become disillusioned with the lack of opportunities with England and Gareth Southgate’s attempts to persuade him to stay have fallen on deaf ears.

Zaha, who was born in Abidjan but moved to London with his family at the age of four, will join up with the Ivory Coast squad after Crystal Palace’s crunch league game with Swansea next Tuesday.

With the tournament running for three weeks, Sam Allardyce now faces the prospect of being without one of his key players for games against West Ham, Everton, Bournemouth and Sunderland.

He is one of six Premier League based players included in Ivory Coast’s panel, with Man United’s Eric Bailly among the 24-man squad.

Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohouo (Mazembe/DRC), Mande Sayouba (Stabaek/NOR), Ali Badra Sangaré (Tanda/CIV)

Defenders: Eric Bailly (Manchester United/ENG), Serge Aurier (PSG/FRA), Simon Deli (Slavia Prague/CZE), Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba (Adanaspor/TUR), Wilfried Kanon (The Hague/NED), Lamine Koné (Sunderland/ENG), Adama Traoré (Basel/SUI), Bagayoko Mamadou (Saint Truiden/BEL)

Midfielders: Geoffrey Serey Dié (Basel/SUI), Victorien Angban(Grenada/ESP), Cheick Doukouré (Metz/FRA), Franck Kessié (Bergamo/ITA), Yao Serge N’Guessan (Nancy/FRA), Jean-Michaël Séri (Nice/FRA)

Forwards: Wilfried Bony (Stoke City/ENG), Max-Alain Gradel (Bournemouth/ENG), Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa/ENG), Giovanni Sio (Rennes/FRA), Salomon Kalou (Hertha Berlin/GER), Nicolas Pépé (Angers/FRA), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace/ENG)

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