Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha to be given chance to impress... for England Under-21s against Lithuania
Zaha is yet to feature under David Moyes in the Premier League and hasn't played since the curtain-raising Community Shield victory over Wigan in August
Tuesday 15 October 2013
Wilfried Zaha has so far endured a frustrating time with Manchester United, but England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate plans to give him a chance to shine this evening.
Signed to much fanfare and a cost of £15million, the 20-year-old linked up with the Old Trafford giants during the summer after helping Crystal Palace secure promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
Zaha, though, has yet to establish himself in the United first-team, with his sole appearance under David Moyes coming in the Community Shield victory against Wigan.
Despite being left on the periphery at United, the attacker is still an important part of the England Under-21s set-up.
Zaha was an unused substitute for Thursday's European Championship qualifier in San Marino, but Southgate is likely to bring him into the starting line-up tonight against Lithuania at Portman Road.
"It is tough for him," Young Lions boss Southgate said. "It is tough for any player when they are not playing regularly.
"Wilf has joined a new club with all the difficulties that brings.
"But it was never my intention to play him in both of our matches this week. He understood that. But he has got the opportunity now to show people what he is capable of.
"Have I noticed a lack of confidence in him? No.
"There is probably some frustration because he just wants to play.
"But he is at a fantastic club and he realises that to get in the team is going to take a lot of work and patience."
Zaha is likely to come in at Portman Road for Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, who has been drafted into Roy Hodgson's senior squad for the vital clash with Poland.
Southgate will be glued to the television after the match in Ipswich, as will no doubt many of the players he took to Wembley on Friday for the 4-1 win against Montenegro.
"It was a really good experience to go," he said. "I wanted them to realise what an occasion like that feels like.
"I think it is important that we support the senior team as well and they could see individuals that are playing in their positions and the way that they play. They can get an understanding of the game and the opposition. It was a good exercise."
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