Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman tips special Wilfried Zaha for the top
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Crystal Palace 2
Wednesday 03 October 2012
Dougie Freedman, the Crystal Palace manager, has claimed Wilfried Zaha has a very bright future but believes he will be able to hold on to the England Under-21 international until the time is right to let him leave. Freedman was talking up Zaha's potential after watching him score two superb goals to see off Wolves and end the home side's four-match winning run in the Championship.
The 19-year-old winger, who signed a five-and-a-half year deal last December, has been linked with Liverpool and Tottenham. Freedman is confident he can keep hold of the teenager, having worked with him for five years coming up through the youth ranks at the London club.
"The kid's got huge potential and hopefully he can fulfil that," said Freedman. "He's working hard, I think his off-the-ball movement is getting better, he's developing his game. Wilfried can play at the top level if he continues going with his movement, he's got wonderful technique and ability."
Zaha could count himself unlucky not to have been awarded a first-half penalty when controversially charged from behind by Bakary Sako.
Damien Delaney's defensive hesitancy handed Sylvan Ebanks-Blake the chance to fire Wolves in front early in the second half. Kevin Doyle then hit the crossbar for the hosts before Zaha's dazzling run created a 67th-minute opening to level matters – his first of the season. And if that was impressive then his second six minutes later was spectacular, turning with his back to goal 20 yards out before firing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
The Wolves manager, Stale Solbakken, expressed concern with the knee ligament injury to Slawomir Peszko, who could be out for four to six weeks. "The only thing that maybe worries me tonight is another bad injury to one of the wide players," Solbakken said. "That makes us a little bit vulnerable in the wide areas."
Wolves Ikeme, Foley (Edwards, 82), Berra, Johnson, Ward, Peszko (Sigurdarson, 69), Doumbia, Henry (Davis, 58), Sako, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle. Substitutes not used De Vries (gk), Stearman, Batth, Forde.
Crystal Palace Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Blake, Moxey, Williams (Parr, 71), Garvan, Jedinak, Zaha (Ramage, 88), Murray, Bolasie (Moritz, 62). Substitutes not used Price (gk), Goodwillie, Wilbraham, O'Keefe.
Referee G Salisbury (Lancashire)
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