Wilfried Zaha recalled to the Ivory Coast squad for upcoming Africa Cup of Nations… after the Crystal Palace star refused to join the team for their World Cup qualifiers in November
- Wilfried Zaha has been re-called by Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations
- It comes after he refused to join the team at their last gathering in November
- Zaha rejected claims from the manager that he was considering his future
- Four other Premier League stars have been called up for selection as well
Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has been recalled to the Ivory Coast squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations.
The 29-year-old refused to join the team at their last gathering in November but coach Patrice Beaumelle has included him in the squad for the tournament which gets underway on January 9 in Cameroon.
The experienced line-up also includes Ajax centre-forward Sebastien Haller, and six members of the team that lifted the trophy for the second time in 2015, notably defenders Serge Aurier and Eric Bailly as well as striker Max Gradel.
Wilfried Zaha has been included in the Ivory Coast’s selection for the Africa Cup of Nations
It comes a month after manager Patrice Beaumelle said Zaha ‘wanted to reflect on the rest of his international career’
There are four other players from the Premier League part of the squad includes Manchester United defender Eric Bailly, Willy Bolly of Wolves, Burnley striker Maxwell Cornet and Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe.
Jean Michael Seri of Championship side Fulham has also been called up to the squad.
The Ivory Coast open their campaign against Equatorial Guinea on January 12 followed by further group games against Sierra Leone and Algeria.
Zaha, who has five goals in 20 caps for the Ivory Coast, was left out of their squad for last month’s World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique and Cameroon after manager Beaumelle said the Crystal Palace forward ‘asked not to come’.
Zaha refused claims that he was considering whether to retire from international football
Beaumelle added that Zaha wanted to ‘reflect on the rest of his international career’, but the 28-year-old says his manager is mistaken.
Zaha denied his manager’s claims in a statement shortly after, as he 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.
Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe is among four other Premier League stars to make the squad
‘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.’
Ivory Coast’s AFCON squad
Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohouo (Wolkite Ketema/ETH), Badra Ali (JDR Stars/RSA), Ira Tapé (FC San Pedro), Cissé Abdul Karim (Asec Mimosas)
Defenders: Serge Aurier (Villareal/ESP), Eric Bailly (Manchester United/ENG), Willy Boly (Wolverhampton/ENG), Wilfried Kanon (Pyramids FC/EGY), Odilon Kossonou (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Simon Deli (Adana Demirspor/TUR); Ghislain Konan (Reims/FRA)
Midfielders: Habib Maiga (Metz/FRA), Serey Die (FC Sion/SUI), Ibrahim Sangaré (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro (Lazio/ITA), Franck Kessie (AC Milan/ITA), Hamed Junior Traoré (Sassuolo/ITA), Jean Michael Seri (Fulham/ENG)
Forwards: Maxwell Cornet (Burnley/ENG), Max Gradel (Sivasspor/TUR), Jérémie Boga (Sassuolo/ITA), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace/ENG), Jean Évrard Kouassi (Trabzonspor/TUR), Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal/ENG), Christian Kouame (Anderlecht/BEL), Sebastien Haller (Ajax/NED), Johan Boli (Al- Rayan/QAT), Konaté Karim (Asec Mimosas)