Wilfried Zaha showed Gareth Southgate and England what they were missing out on last night when scoring a truly sublime individual goal for the Ivory Coast against Russia.
Having finally decided to give up on his hopes of building a career with the Three Lions on his chest, Zaha opted to pledge his full allegiance to the country of his birth a few months ago, representing them at the recent African Cup of Nations before being touted as a key component in their attempts to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Russia, the hosts of that tournament, were charged with stopping Wilfried and his teammates last night but as the above video shows, they could only stand back and admire the scintillating footwork from the Palace academy graduate.
Predictably, social media has given a mixed reaction to Zaha’s goal, with every positive message being followed by another questioning the quality of the opposition he was facing. At this point, it’s worth remembering the England team’s failure to score from open play against the very same nation in their clash during Euro 2016, adding yet more weight to the claims that the FA have dropped the ball spectacularly in letting him fly the nest.
Now, with the backing of his manager at club level, his international career sorted and Palace having won three games on the spin, Eagles fans everywhere are hoping that the board offer him a new long-term contract that sees him put on the same pay scale as the club’s biggest earners. Admittedly, with Tottenham still being linked with a summer move for him, it may prove to be futile but given the love our fan-base have for the fleet-footed winger, it’s got to be worth a go.