Wilfried Zaha contradicted his Ivory Coast manager’s claims that he is considering his international future, insisting on his absence from their last team as he is recovering from an infection.
Zaha, who has scored five goals in 20 appearances for Cote d’Ivoire, has been barred from the squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique and Cameroon after manager Patrice Beaumelle said the Crystal Palace striker ” he asked not to come “.
Beaumelle added that Zaha wanted to “reflect on the rest of his international career,” but the 28-year-old says his manager is wrong.
In a statement released on Friday, Zaha said: “Despite numerous press articles, I have never said at any time that I am reconsidering my future as an international player.
“Wearing the Ivory Coast jersey and representing my country is an honor that I never, ever take for granted.
“During the last international matches I caught a viral infection while I was traveling and on the way back I was sick, unable to train and I was forced to miss the Crystal Palace match against Arsenal.
“Since I don’t feel fully recovered, I talked to the manager and asked him for permission to skip the next two games.
“I will obviously be available and present if I am selected for future matches and I wish the team every success in the next two games and qualification for the World Cup.”
Zaha, who switched alliances from England to Côte d’Ivoire – his home country – in 2017, is one of many Premier League players expected to participate in the African Cup in January and February.
Zaha has almost always been present for the Palace so far this season, scoring on three occasions, including during the club’s 2-0 win at Manchester City on October 30th.
Ebere Eze will be absent again for Crystal Palace when they host Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday.
The 23-year-old stepped up his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury when he played an hour for U23 against Blackburn on Monday, but boss Patrick Vieira revealed that the former QPR playmaker needs more minutes before be in contention.
Defender Nathan Ferguson also came out with the same problem but is set to take part in some modified first team training next week.
wolves remain without several players for their trip to Selhurst Park. Defender Fernando Marcal’s calf injury will keep him out until after the national team break.
Full-back Jonny (knee), winger Pedro Neto (knee) and midfielder Yerson Mosquera (hamstring) are not expected to return until next year.
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