Wilfried Zaha has been told to ‘suck it up’ if he is to return to his best at Crystal Palace.

The Ivorian handed in a transfer request in the summer but the Palace hierarchy rejected offers from Arsenal and Everton for the 26-year-old.

Benched against Everton in the opening fixture, Zaha was re-called for their defeat at Sheffield Untied and played 90minutes in the Eagles' first win in the Premier League at Manchester United on the weekend.

Palace legend John Solako believes Roy Hodgson’s star man is far from his best and that if he is to win fans over again he’ll need to forget about his failure to force a move away.

"He's got to suck it up,” Solako told Love Sport Radio.

“You could see him sulking first day on the bench against Everton.

“Then away against Sheffield United, he just never played.

“He was looking a bit sulky and wasn't happy, but at Old Trafford, a club he played for, up against Wan Bissaka, he had a point to prove.

“I actually feel for Wilfried.

“He got tempted by the lure of playing for a bigger club, maybe playing in the Champions League, he'd made his mind up to go but the right offer just didn't go on, and he had to stay.”

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'Flourish at a bigger club'

Zaha has long harboured ambitions to play Champions League football, or join a team with ambitions higher than his current club.

Having come through the Palace Academy the decision to hand in a transfer request in the summer wasn’t an easy one for the forward, despite having already left for a brief stint at Manchester United six-years ago.

Since returning to Selhurst Park initially on loan in 2014 and then permanently in 2015, Zaha has established himself as one of the most feared wingers in the league, and Solako believes if he can forget about the disappointment of the summer and get back to peak form, there’s no reason why more clubs will be in the market for him in January.

"When he went to Manchester United, he wasn't quite ready, a bit immature still both as a player and in himself as a person.

“But I think he's ready now.

“His physicality can't be touched, he's just phenomenal in what he can do on the ball, what he can do off the cuff, how he can adapt to new systems and patterns of play.

"A Pochettino or a Guardiola could bring out so much more in him.

“I think he'd really relish that, and he'd flourish at a bigger club."

Crystal Palace welcome Aston Villa to Selhurst Park on Saturday.


Report: Premier League: Man United 1 Crystal Palace 2: Van Aanholt earns shock win