Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Pearce - United move hasn't changed Zaha

Wilfried Zaha's attitude has impressed England Under-21s boss Stuart Pearce

England Under-21s boss Stuart Pearce feels Wilfried Zaha has a down-to-earth attitude which has not been affected by his move to Manchester United.

United announced in January that an agreement had been reached for them to sign Zaha from Crystal Palace, where the winger is remaining for the rest of the season before linking up with the Red Devils in July. Zaha was handed a one-match suspension by the Football Association on Wednesday for making an offensive gesture towards Leeds fans.

Zaha apologised for his actions and Pearce said: "To be fair, I am quite delighted with how he has come in and been part of the squad. He seems really happy around the group and I think he is progressing just nicely, personally. I am seeing the same kid from a couple of months ago in how he is now. I don't see any change in his demeanour at all."

Pearce added: "I think Wilf is one of those nice and easy-going sort of lads. I don't think too much worries him a great deal - that is the impression I pick up of him, and that is certainly what I am seeing in his football.

"I think we elevate them (young players) very, very quickly. For me, Wilf is where he is at the moment - whether he has gone to Man United or stayed at Palace, I view him as the same player, who is learning the game, is maturing, will get better and better and hopefully will have a career with the seniors."

Zaha is part of the Young Lions squad Pearce has selected for friendlies against Romania at Wycombe's Adams Park on Friday and Austria at Brighton's Amex Stadium next Monday.

After that double-header, the 50-year-old will name his 23-man party for this summer's European Under-21 Championships in Israel.

Pearce has made it clear that he already knows most of the players he wants to include in that squad.

And he has indicated that Blackpool winger Tom Ince and Tottenham defenders Danny Rose, who is on loan at Sunderland, and Steven Caulker are among those players.

Ince and Rose are each unavailable for the opening game of the Euros due to one-game bans that relate to the trouble at the end of the qualifying play-off second leg against Serbia last October.

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