West Ham man to let Wilfried Zaha decide international future on his own

07:10 19 November 2012

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha is a target for several Premier League clubs. Photo: PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

West Ham full back Guy Demel will not put any pressure on Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha as he tries to decide his international future.

The 20-year-old was born in the Ivory Coast before moving to England as a child and made his first senior appearance for the Three Lions as a late substitute in the 4-2 defeat to Sweden last week.

Zaha could still change allegiance and line up for the nation of his birth as the Sweden international was not a competitive fixture, but Demel believes only Zaha can make the decision as to which nation he wants to represent permanently.

He said: “I think Wilfried is a very good player now and has lots of potential to get even better as he is still very young. Of course, as an Ivory Coast player myself it would be great for him to play for our country, but it is his decision and no one else’s.

“To play for your country, you have to play with your heart. You do this at club level of course, but the difference is you have to adapt to moving on from a club at any time, so to choose the country you play for stays forever.

“You don’t change every season the country you play for, so it is a big thing for him to decide and it has to be right for him.

“I think he is an intelligent boy who will know what the right decision is and if he feels he is more English - as he has been growing up here - then choosing England will be right, but if he feels he wants to represent his birth heritage, then playing for Ivory Coast will be his decision. No one else can choose for him, it has to be Wilfried.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest West Ham news

Monday, May 25, 2015
Sam Allardyce during his final game at West Ham United (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Sam Allardyce’s time at West Ham has come to an end after four years in charge. Here are the five favourites to replace him at Upton Park.

Monday, May 25, 2015
Tony Cottee

Our West Ham columnist backs the Croatian former Hammer

Monday, May 25, 2015
Jackson Martinez of FC Porto battles with Dante and Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Premier League season is over but silly season has just begun. Here are the latest transfer rumours from around the web.

Monday, May 25, 2015
Sam Allardyce during his final game at West Ham. (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

Sam Allardyce and West Ham have agreed to part company. Here is a round-up of some of the best reaction to the news on Twitter.

Monday, May 25, 2015
Slaven Bilic, former manager of Besiktas  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Former West Ham striker Dean Ashton believes Slaven Bilic is the right man to take the vacant manager’s job this summer.

Breaking News

Friday, May 22, 2015

There are severe delays on the Central Line after a woman was hit by a Tube train.

Read more

What is this?

Near You Now

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more

Don't Miss...

West Ham Transfer News

Jackson Martinez of FC Porto battles with Dante and Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Premier League season is over but silly season has just begun. Here are the latest transfer rumours from around the web.

Read more
Gonzalo Higuain and Rafa Benitez

Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain reportedly had a furious confrontation with manager Rafa Benitez after their 3-1 defeat to Juventus on Saturday.

Read more
Arturo Vidal of Juventus FC celebrates (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

The latest transfer news and gossip on the final day of the Premier League season.

Read more
Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon  (Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images)

The latest transfer news and rumours heading into the final weekend of the Premier League season.

Read more
Alex Song of West Ham (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

West Ham loanee Alex Song has hinted that he will not be a Hammers player next season.

Read more