Palace star Zaha rejects Ivory Coast call-up as he becomes ‘homesick’

Date published: Thursday 4th November 2021 4:00 - Lewis Oldham

Palace forward Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has turned down an international call-up as a result of him becoming “homesick”, according to Ivory Coast boss Patrice Beaumelle.

The attacker was capped twice by England between 2012 and 2013. He soon fell down the pecking order and in 2017, he opted to switch allegiance so he could play for Ivory Coast.

Zaha has been capped 21 times by the African nation since then. Ivory Coast are set to play Mozambique and Cameroon in World Cup qualifiers during the upcoming international break.

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The Palace star has not been included in their squad for these games. Beaumelle has been their boss since last year.

As reported by the Mirror, he has confirmed that Zaha wants to “reflect” before deciding whether he wants to carry on playing internationally:

“He asked not to come because he becomes homesick at each meeting. He wants to reflect on the rest of his international career.”

Elsewhere, Gareth Southgate has named his England squad for the upcoming international break.

He said that Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher was close to being called up:

“Tino Livramento has had a great start to the season, along with Tariq Lamptey and we have just seen Matty Cash go to Poland, but we have a lot of good right-backs in the squad and others pushing them.

“I think Emile [Smith Rowe] and Conor Gallagher are playing very well with their clubs but we’ve got depth, and to put those in, we’ve got to leave some of these on the sheet out.

“It’s not a bad thing that we’re starting to get a very strong under-21 team because you want that depth.

“The boys I’ve just mentioned are on a really good path, we like them, we get a good chance to see them with the under-21s, as well as with their clubs, but at the moment we think it’s a little bit early for some of those guys to come in.

“We could put them in and they will be absolutely fine by the way. But we think the players we’ve picked are just a little bit ahead at the moment.

“They are all pushing. There is still a step for a lot of them in the consistency. A lot of them are young and still learning their trade.

“We’re 12 months away where there is going to be real competition for places. We’ve seen over the last 12 months how rapidly young players can come through.”

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