Wilfried Zaha has admitted that seeing former Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend and Jack Wilshere being picked ahead of him for international duty with England proved to be the final straw for him in terms of giving up his ambitions to play for the Three Lions.
Zaha has been one of the most consistent attackers in the Premier League for the last six years but the wide man has not managed to get the big move he was tipped for following his failed stint at Manchester United as a youngster.
Given the player he has evolved into, some might feel that England have also missed a trick by not handing the winger a single cap, with the 28-year-old choosing to represent Ivory Coast instead.
Zaha has now admitted that seeing his Townsend, who was then at Spurs, and former Arsenal star Jack Wilshere picked ahead of him, was what convinced him to represent the African nation instead.
He said during an appearing On The Judy Podcast: “I reached a point where I thought that I need to go where I am appreciated.
“Me not playing for Manchester United, everyone jumped on the bandwagon. ‘Not good enough, whatever, whatever’.
“Then I went on-loan to Palace. I had years where I was playing well. Still not getting picked. Four years down the line now.
“The time went I thought ‘I am done’ is there was one game when Southgate came to the game. Burnley away, I got an assist and played well. I felt that was the final straw because they were picking the team after.”
“He picked Andros (Townsend) and Jack Wilshere, who just came back from injury, over me. I was like ‘that’s mad. I am done’.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I still look back on Tottenham’s decision to get Sissoko instead of Zaha in 2016 as one of our biggest transfer blunders in recent history, even though Sissoko has been a great servant to the club. Given the team we had at the time, Zaha could have been the missing piece of the puzzle that could have guided us to a Premier League title.
With respect to England though, I do not think Gareth Southgate would be losing too much sleep at not picking Zaha for England. The Three Lions now have an embarrassment of riches in the wide areas, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, Callum Hudon-Odoi and Phil Foden.
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