June 18 2013 Latest news:
By Nick Wright
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Jonathan Williams says he and his Crystal Palace team-mates are fully behind in-demand winger Wilfried Zaha, no matter what happens in the January transfer window.
20-year-old Zaha has been strongly linked with Premier League quartet Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United, with a January bidding war looking likely.
Fellow academy product Williams, 19, remains hopeful that Zaha will stay at Selhurst Park until the end of the season, but insists there will be no hard feelings if he does move on.
“Wilf, he’s going to concentrate on his football,” said Williams after the Eagles’ 3-1 win against Wolves.
“I haven’t spoken to him about that. It’s up to him at the end of the day.
“I feel he’s done great for us and whatever he decides to do is right for him.”
Talented winger Zaha has been a key figure for the Eagles this season, helping them mount a genuine promotion challenge and winning his first England cap in the process.
Williams added: “We’ll all stick behind him wherever he chooses and hopefully he’ll stay with us and push on to the Premier League.
“We’ll see, hopefully he’ll stay.”
With the likes of Chelsea’s Victor Moses and Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne already plying their trade in the top flight, Palace’s youth academy has an impressive record for producing young talent.
Williams loves playing with fellow academy graduates and hopes the Eagles can keep producing young stars.
“I think [coming through the academy] does help when you go into the first team because you’ve played together,” he said.
“You know each other’s personalities on and off the pitch and you know their game.
“I think it’s very important. It’s nice to have other young players come through as well as yourself.
“At Palace if you’re good enough you get the opportunity. Hopefully we can keep producing players like we have done.”