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Freedman sees bright future for Zaha

3 October 2012

Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman has tipped Wilfried Zaha for the top but believes he will be able to hold on to the England Under-21 international until the time is right to let him fly the nest.

Freedman was talking up Zaha's potential after watching him score a superb brace to see off Wolves 2-1 and end the home side's four-match winning run in the npower Championship.

The 19-year-old winger, who penned a five-and-a-half year deal in December last year, has been linked with a host of Barclays Premier League clubs including Liverpool and Tottenham.

On the evidence of Tuesday night's showing Zaha certainly has the talent, but Freedman is confident he can keep hold of the teenager, having worked with him for five years coming up through the youth ranks at the London club.

"The kid's got huge potential and hopefully he can fulfil that," said Freedman, who felt his side fully deserved victory over Wolves.

"He's working hard, I think his off-the-ball movement is getting better, he's developing his game.

"Wilfried can play at the top level if he continues going with his movement, he's got wonderful technique and ability. His all-round game is coming together."

Despite his disappointment at losing a four-match winning sequence, Wolves boss Stale Solbakken felt his side's performance was okay.

But the Norwegian was more concerned with the second-half injury to Slawomir Peszko, who looks set for between four to six weeks on the sidelines with stretched knee ligaments - just three days after losing fellow wide man Razak Boukari for at least three weeks due to a calf injury.

"The only thing that maybe worries me tonight is another bad injury to one of the wide players," Solbakken said. "That makes us a little bit vulnerable in the wide areas. The injury is a bad one."

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