Roy Hodgson says Wilfried Zaha must deal with the repercussions of trying to leave Crystal Palace as he prepares to play the winger against Everton, the club he wanted to join.
Hodgson insists he will not hesitate to start Zaha in their Premier League opener at Selhurst Park today, though he has warned the player there may be a backlash from supporters.
Zaha’s move to Merseyside did not materialise because Palace’s £80million valuation was not met and Hodgson says the 26-year-old, who trained fully on Friday, must ‘get over’ the failed transfer.
‘I can’t say to you that he is jubilant,’ said Hodgson, who turned 72 on Friday. ‘I can’t say to you that he is delighted with the situation because it’s not the outcome he wanted.
‘The outcome he wanted was to be sold and leave the club. We did not want that. We wanted him here. For me as a coach and the playing staff, we wanted the player rather than the money.
‘This is a disappointment he knows he has to get over. He has had a difference of opinion. “I want to leave and you’ve got to sell me.” And the club saying, “I’m sorry, we don’t have to sell you and we aren’t going to until we get the price we think we need for you.”
‘That has now passed and I’m expecting Wilf to go out and do on the training pitches and in matches what he has done during the two years that I have been here.’
Zaha had handed in a transfer request on the eve of deadline day. On how the player will respond to staying, Hodgson added: ‘I trust him totally. There is no question that he has any disrespect for myself, the staff, the players and the coaches. Not at all.
‘He is a professional. He realises that. He is committed to the club. It is a simple situation that he has wanted to leave and thinks the grass is greener elsewhere.
‘You can’t control fans’ reactions. Fans will react in the way they feel they should. Whatever happens, Wilf will have to deal with that, just as he has to deal with his disappointment over the last few days in the transfer window.’
Zaha, who previously attracted interest from Arsenal, could still leave for Everton in January.
As it stands, Palace are not concerned about a European club coming in for the Ivory Coast international before the foreign transfer window shuts on September 2.
‘There is much more of a chance that he will go to a club in England than a club in Europe,’ Hodgson said. ‘All the clubs here know how good he is and are capable of paying the transfer fee when push comes to shove, and I’m not sure all the European ones can.
‘January? Who knows. That’s a long, long way off. We’ve just gone through this situation. We have, in many ways, been inconvenienced by other clubs bidding for the player.
‘It’s not exactly been helpful to myself, as a manager, the coaching staff and the players. We’re over that period, and we’ll enjoy that we’re over it.
‘If it starts again in January, we’ll get ready and deal with it like we have dealt with it this time.’
Hodgson signed a new contract with Palace this time last year and that deal is due to expire at the end of this season. He is not currently in talks with chairman Steve Parish over an extension.
‘If a day comes when I’m offered one, I’ll have to give it some thought,’ Hodgson added. ‘It will probably depend a lot on how the season goes and how I feel.’
New signing Gary Cahill, who played under Hodgson for England, could also start against Everton on Saturday.