Palace boss tips Liverpool and Spurs target for top after Wolves brace

23:20 02 October 2012

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (bottom). Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA wire

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (bottom). Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman believes Wilfried Zaha will be a star at the highest level but believes he will be able to hold on to the England Under-21 international until the time is right to let him fly the nest.

Freedman was talking up Zaha’s potential after watching him score a superb brace to see off Wolves 2-1 and end the home side’s four-match winning run in the npower Championship.

The 19-year-old winger, who penned a five-and-a-half year deal in December last year, has been linked with a host of Barclays Premier League clubs including Liverpool and Tottenham.

On the evidence of tonight’s showing Zaha certainly has the talent, but Freedman is confident he can keep hold of the teenager, having worked with him for five years coming up through the youth ranks at the London club.

“The kid’s got huge potential and hopefully he can fulfil that,” said Freedman, who felt his side fully deserved victory over Wolves.

“He’s working hard, I think his off-the-ball movement is getting better, he’s developing his game.

“Wilfried can play at the top level if he continues going with his movement, he’s got wonderful technique and ability. His all-round game is coming together.”

Asked about interest from potential suitors, Freedman added: “It’s a little bit different at this club because, under my leadership, I’ve known that kid since 14 years of age, it’s a relationship which goes a little bit further than contracts.

“When he’s ready and when I think he’s ready to let him go to the right club, I will tap Wilfried on the shoulder and tell him I can’t help him no longer.

“It’s a little bit different with my kids, the relationship has been there a long time.”

Zaha shone all night at Molineux and and could count himself unlucky not to have been awarded a first-half penalty when controversially charged from behind by Bakary Sako.

Damien Delaney’s defensive hesitancy handed Sylvan Ebanks-Blake the opportunity to fire Wolves into the lead early in the second half.

Kevin Doyle then hit the crossbar for the hosts before Zaha’s dazzling run created a 67th-minute opening to level matters - his first goal of the season.

And if his first was impressive then his second goal was spectacular, turning with his back to goal 20 yards out before firing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

It was enough to secure a fifth win in six unbeaten matches for Freedman’s side.

Related articles


Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News


Ryan Sellers feels his return to Wingate & Finchley increases his long-term prospects of a Football League comeback – because he is enjoying the game again.


In the latest of a series of features casting the spotlight on local football fans, Hendon chairman Simon Lawrence reveals his favourite players, his most memorable matches, his funniest moment with the Greens and the biggest challenge facing the club.


The newly-formed Camden & Islington Girls League kicked off on Friday as six teams got the competition up and running at Market Road.


Captain Cian Hynes believes Hendon can adjust their initial target for the season and now aim for a place in the top three or four after Saturday’s victory over Wasps.


Hampstead head coach Peter Breen says Pete Wood’s impressive return to the first team underlines the club’s strength in depth after the winger scored twice in Saturday’s victory over London Nigerian.

Casey Maclaren hopes he has many more happy years ahead at Hendon, stating he will be with the Greens for as long as they want him, after making his 300th appearance for the club.

Yesterday, 17:15

Joyce Esser struck a hat-trick as Hampstead & Westminster Ladies secured their fourth victory in a row in the Women’s Conference East, beating Harleston Magpies 4-1 and leapfrogging their visitors into the top three places.

Yesterday, 16:20

Highgate Harriers’ quartet of runners held off heavyweight opposition to clinch a surprise victory in the Southern Senior Relay Championships at Wormwood Scrubs.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now