Wilfried Zaha rejects Ivory Coast call-up due to homesickness

Wilfried Zaha rejects call-up to the Ivory Coast national team and is considering his international future, says Elephants boss… as Crystal Palace star gets HOMESICK while away with the African side

  • Wilfried Zaha has rejected an Ivory Coast call-up squad due to homesickness
  • The Crystal Palace star is now considering his future in international football
  • Zaha switched allegiances to the African country in 2016 after two England caps
  • Gareth Southgate tried to persuade Zaha to commit to England five years ago 

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has turned down a call-up to the Ivory Coast national team this month and is considering his international future. 

The 28-year-old attacker gets homesick during each international break, national team boss Patrice Beaumelle revealed on Thursday, after he did not name Zaha in his 25-man squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique and Cameroon.

Zaha has played just three matches for the Elephants in 2021 and did not feature for his country in the June and September international breaks but could now call time on his Ivory Coast career.  

Wilfried Zaha has rejected an international call-up for Ivory Coast and is considering his future

Zaha gets home sick during international breaks, according to manager Patrice Beaumelle

‘He asked not to come because he becomes home sick at each break,’ said Beaumelle after announcing his squad without Zaha in it. ‘He wants to reflect on the rest of his international career.’ 

Zaha has made 20 international appearances for the Ivory Coast, scoring five times since switching allegiance from England in 2016.

The 28-year-old has played in two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments for his country, in 2017 and 2019, and is considering his international future just two months before the next edition of the competition starts in January. 

Crystal Palace star Zaha is one of English football’s exciting attackers with 11 goals last term

Zaha played youth international football for England and was called up by former Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson for friendlies against Sweden and Scotland in 2012 and 2013 respectively. 

However, he was not handed an England recall for three years after his two substitute cameo appearances under Hodgson – with the winger switching allegiance to Ivory Coast when Gareth Southgate became boss.

The Crystal Palace icon was able to switch international teams as he had not played in a competitive match for England when the decision was made. 

Former England boss Hodgson admitted just before the 2018 World Cup that he regretted not giving Zaha a competitive run-out to stop him from changing his allegiances. 

Zaha was capped twice by England in friendlies but switched to the Ivory Coast in late 2016

Current England boss Southgate, meanwhile, revealed in December 2016 that he tried to dissuade Zaha from picking the Ivory Coast, but to no avail. 

Southgate said at the time: ‘He’s certainly somebody that I think has talent, is in a good moment with his club and ideally I’d like to talk to him before he makes that decision.

‘I would like to speak with him before we make a decision on whether we are happy to let that happen.’

Since changing his international team to the Ivory Coast, Zaha has scored 42 Premier League goals in just over 150 matches for the Eagles. 

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