Daniel Sturridge urges Wilfried Zaha to stay at Crystal Palace

 

For England new-boy Wilfried Zaha, who is desired by the best clubs in the country, temptation may be  difficult to resist. He may find it difficult to select the best career choices.

It is likely that Zaha will be one of the most coveted players in Britain when the transfer window opens in January. Zaha’s first call-up to the full England squad, for tomorrow’s friendly in Sweden, illustrates the impact he has made this season for Crystal Palace, where his performances have attracted the attention of Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Palace are determined to keep Zaha at least until the summer but should he join a top-flight club in January, he might not play as often as he does for his present employers.

His new England squad colleague, Daniel Sturridge, left Manchester City — before Sheikh Mansour’s billions had helped the club end a 35-year trophy drought — for Chelsea as a 19-year-old in July 2009 but has made only 48 first-team starts for the Blues. He now believes all young players must think carefully before turning their backs on regular first-team football.

Palace’s former manager Dougie Freedman, who has since joined Bolton, also offered the view last month that Zaha was not yet ready to make the move to the Premier League and Sturridge knows that acting hastily can have damaging consequences.

“It’s hugely important,” said Sturridge, who hopes to win his fourth full cap in Stockholm.

“If people are considering leaving a club at a very young age, I’d suggest to them not to do that and to play as much football as they can.

“It’s key to your development and playing under those circumstances helps you to become a better footballer. The more first-team games you play, the better you’re equipped to play every week when you do go to a bigger club.

“You do get offers, and the best kids have a lot of money offered to them, but the only thing that matters is to play football. The money will come at some stage, whether that is earlier or later. You need to focus on football and not worry about anything else.”

Sturridge was, nevertheless, hugely impressed with Zaha during his first training session with the senior squad yesterday. His reputation is growing so quickly that both England and Ivory Coast, where he was born, are fighting for his services.

Even if Zaha plays tomorrow, he could still switch allegiance as this is not a competitive fixture. Sturridge is keen for the 20-year-old to stick to his adopted country as England try to develop a playing style capable of threatening the world’s best teams.

Roy Hodgson’s side have been solid rather than spectacular during his six-month tenure but, at Chelsea, Sturridge has witnessed a quick transformation from defensive to attacking football and knows it can be achieved.

Although the 23-year-old has yet to start a Premier League game this season, he has still enjoyed the switch to a more positive approach.

“For the sides who win games in modern football, it’s more about being an attacking team than a defensive one nowadays,” he told Standard Sport.

“There are only a few teams who you could say have been successful from being defensive.

“It’s about playing good football, exciting the fans and giving them what they want, which are goals, skills, enjoyment. When fans leave the ground, you want them to think they have got their money’s worth. It’s expensive to watch football these days, so they want to see something.

“I’ve enjoyed adapting to the new methods at Chelsea. It’s great to have players roaming free and to be able to go out there and express ourselves.

“The way we’re playing now is a lot more attack minded and it’s great to be a part of it. The important thing is to make the supporters happy and for them to leave the stadium with a smile on their faces.

“Whichever system the manager chooses, we will fit into it. If it’s one up front, two or three, he sets the criteria but we have players in this squad who can adapt.”

Sturridge is one of only three forwards remaining in Hodgson’s squad for the Sweden game following withdrawals through injury and he is keen to stake a claim for the position.

He added: “The manager has made it clear players don’t have to start all the time for their clubs to play for England, so I believe I can still be a regular even if I’m not always playing for Chelsea.”

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Bianca Miller in the final of The Apprentice
tvMark Wright and Bianca Miller fight for Lord Sugar's investment
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick