Hodgson sends message to Arsenal after Zaha announces interest in Champions League move

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has told the likes of Arsenal that Wilfried Zaha is happy at the club, despite his recent Champion League comments.

Zaha has become of the most exciting and creative wingers in the Premier League since his move back to Palace and his performances over the past few seasons have caught the attentions of a number of Premier League sides.

Zaha last week dropped a heavy hint that he wants to leave Palace and play in the Champions League, saying he “has to experience the Champions League” at some point in his career, alerting a number of clubs to a possible transfer deal.

Zaha said: “I have to experience the Champions League. I just need the opportunity, that’s it. And I’ll do the rest.

“I’m too ambitious. And not ambitious just to play for a top club, but to win things at club level and with the Ivory Coast.

“For me to be better, to achieve what I know I am capable of, I have to aim to play at the very highest level, to win trophies.

“I’m blessed to have come this far in my playing career. But I feel like there is so much more I have to offer.”

But when asked about Zaha’s comments, Hodgson replied: “How many players, if the question is put to them, will say they don’t want to play Champions League football?

“Congratulations to the journalist, who has caught him at the right moment.

“He’s certainly happy at Crystal Palace, that wasn’t the performance of a player who wants to get away from the club. He’s got a four-year deal, is one of the highest-paid players and adored by everyone in south London. But life throws things up and we’ll see what happens. I’m looking forward to seeing him in a Crystal Palace shirt for many years to come.”

Zaha is arguably one of the best wingers in the Premier League and brings so much more than excitement to the Palace side. So it was a massive surprise to see him sign a new five-year deal at the club as he is clearly ready for that next step.

Arsenal would be a great move for him, as they are in need of an attacking, exciting and skilful wingers to come in and give a different dimension to the side, but it all depends on whether they get Champions League football in the coming weeks.

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