• Premier League

Zaha keen to make Prem move in January

ESPN staff
December 30, 2012
Wilfried Zaha is keen to test himself in the Premier League © PA Photos

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has declared he is ready to move to the Premier League in January, alerting a number of suitors.

Zaha is known to be on the radar of some of England's biggest clubs, with Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United believed to be the most determined pursuers of the 20-year-old forward.

Palace are currently challenging for promotion near the top of the Championship table - but Zaha insists he is ready to move when the transfer window re-opens, should a club come up with an offer that is acceptable to the south London club.

"I'm not a teenager any more," Zaha told the Mail on Sunday."I've played more than 100 first-team games and this year is crucial to develop my football career. I want to establish myself in the Premier League and in international football.

"I've played a lot in the Championship so having that new challenge in the Premier League, where everyone wants to be, would be great.

"To be honest, if I had the chance in January and Palace agreed, it's something I'd want to go for.

"Some of my friends, who play in the Premier League, joke around and ask me what is taking me so long. I just tell them I will be there at some stage.

"I've done a lot of learning in the Championship. Now I'm ready for the Premier League."

The Abidjan-born player is aware that any move will see a significant step up in quality, having had his eyes opened by his experiences while training with the likes of Steven Gerrard ahead of his England debut last month.

"The little bits we did in training with England were more intense than I'd been used to," he admitted.

"Playing with Premier League players tested me, it was a great challenge but I felt comfortable in that company. Steven Gerrard's shooting made the biggest impression on me. I don't know how he got that amount of sheer power, it was impressive!"

Zaha revealed he has grown close to Gerrard's Liverpool team-mate Raheem Sterling in recent times, the two players encouraging each other as they look to make their mark on the game.

"I have a good relationship with Raheem, he's 18 and I can joke around with him. We have that understanding," Zaha noted. "There was an article where people thought I was comparing myself to Ronaldo and Messi.

"He was bantering with me about it, saying, 'You think you are better than those guys!' We laughed about it, because he just knew that wasn't my personality at all really.

"We're on PlayStation, and I wish him good luck before games and things."

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