Belfast Telegraph

Pardew happy to give Zaha platform

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew believes on-loan winger Wilfried Zaha is "lucky" that the club are giving him the chance to shine in the Barclays Premier League.

The England international is currently halfway through a season-long loan at Selhurst Park having struggled to break through at parent club Manchester United.

The 22-year-old made a name for himself as a teenager at Palace and has started to show his form since Pardew was installed as boss of the south London club.

And the Eagles' boss feels his club can provide a platform for Zaha to continue his development - whereas other promising talent is being wasted on the benches of top Premier League sides.

"I'm not sure about that option," Pardew said when asked if he could make Zaha's move permanent this month.

"What I do know is that he's a player that needs to get his career on the move again. He's had a decent couple of games, made an impact and he needs to build on that. I think that is where he's at. He's a talent that needs to nail down a permanent position here, whether he's on loan or permanent but I've been very pleased with what I have seen."

Zaha's only goal since rejoining Palace came as a last-gasp equaliser in a 3-3 draw against a Newcastle side managed at the time by Pardew.

And the former Magpies boss has challenged Zaha to show that sort of form once again and add to his two England caps.

"He has certainly got the ability," Pardew added.

"I have worked with players who have fantastic technical ability for the Premier League but have only ever played in League One.

"All the attributes, you need to have the power, strength, the mental and technical quality to become a Premier League player.

"Wilfried has got a lot going for him and he has the potential to have an impact on the international stage at some point. I think the opportunities at Manchester United have been limited and that has been a problem.

"That has been a problem particularly at the top four or five clubs - Wilf is one of the lucky ones in that he has a platform on which he can play."

Pardew, who returns to former club Southampton for an FA Cup fourth-round clash on Saturday, has given a similar platform to Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo after bringing the French forward in until the end of the season.

He has also been linked with a move for Blackburn's Rudy Gestede but refused to comment on any potential deal - although he did admit enquiries for fresh faces have been made.

"Not that I'm aware of," he said when asked about an approach for Gestede.

"I think we've enquired on about three, four or five different players and whether they're available - that's really where we're at.

"The chairman is pursuing some lines of enquiry in the right manner, in the way it should be conducted. Unfortunately not in front of the press!

"I'm not going to talk about other players at other clubs. I don't think that's fair."


From Belfast Telegraph