Wilfried Zaha has contradicted his Ivory Coast manager’s claims that he is considering his international future, insisting his absence from their latest squad is because he is recovering from an infection.
Zaha, who has five goals in 20 caps for the Ivory Coast, was left out of their squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique and Cameroon after manager Patrice Beaumelle said the Crystal Palace forward “asked not to come”.
Beaumelle added that Zaha wanted to “reflect on the rest of his international career”, but the 28-year-old says his manager is mistaken.
In a statement released on Friday, Zaha said: “Despite numerous press reports, I have never said at any time that I am reconsidering my international playing future.
“To pull on the Ivory Coast shirt and represent my country is an honour that I never, ever take for granted.
“During the last international fixtures I picked up a viral infection while travelling and was ill when I returned, unable to train and was forced to miss Crystal Palace’s game against Arsenal.
“As I don’t feel fully recovered, I spoke to the manager and asked his permission to miss the next two games.
“I will of course be available and present if I am selected for future games and wish the team every success in the next two matches and qualification for the World Cup.”
Zaha, who switched allegiance from England to the Ivory Coast – the country of his birth – in 2017, is one of a number of Premier League players expected to feature in the Africa Cup of Nations in January and February.
Zaha has been a near ever-present for Palace so far this season, scoring on three occasions – including during the club’s 2-0 victory at Manchester City on October 30.
Ebere Eze will again be absent for Crystal Palace when they host Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday.
The 23-year-old stepped up his recovery from an Achilles injury when he played an hour for the U23s against Blackburn on Monday, but boss Patrick Vieira has revealed the ex-QPR playmaker needs more minutes before he is in contention.
Defender Nathan Ferguson has also been out with the same issue but is set to take part in some modified first-team training next week.
Wolves remain without several players for their trip to Selhurst Park. Defender Fernando Marcal’s calf injury will keep him out until after the international break.
Full-back Jonny (knee), winger Pedro Neto (knee) and midfielder Yerson Mosquera (hamstring) are not expected to return until next year.
How to follow
Follow Crystal Palace vs Wolves in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel at 5.15pm.