Wilfried Zaha has admitted he still has to prove he can play at the top level after missing out on a move to Arsenal or Everton this summer.
The Crystal Palace winger was heavily linked with a move away from Selhurst Park this summer, with Arsenal reportedly making a £40m bid before opting to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille instead.
Towards the end of the transfer window, Everton came in with a late bid, prompting Zaha to hand in a transfer request on deadline day – but in the end, he remained at Palace.
Now, the Ivory Coast international has told BBC Africa about how he has adapted his approach since the start of the season after missing out on his move.
“I had to put my head down and play my football,” Zaha said.
“I would have been hindering my own progress by moaning and not wanting to perform properly.
“I have too much respect for my manager, the fans and my team-mates to treat them that way. It was a thing where ‘OK, this hasn’t happened but I’ve got to get on with it’.
“I’ve got to prove every time that I’m the top player I claim to be so I had to get over that quickly. Obviously my head was a bit all over the place at the beginning of the season but I had to nail down and just get on with it because the team deserved that.”
Palace owner Steve Parish has confessed that he would like to see Zaha playing for a bigger club, which may give his entourage hope of finalising a transfer in the upcoming months.
However, the 26-year-old says that he is not thinking that far ahead just yet.
“I’m seeing how it goes. I’m a Crystal Palace player and I’m just trying to perform to the best of my ability for my club,” he added. “I’m not thinking about anything else and just taking each day as it comes.
“The season’s gone well so far. We’ve got a lot more in us and I’m happy with the squad and everyone’s happy with where we are right now.
“All I can do is perform on the pitch. I’m trying to be a consistent performer on the pitch week in, week out.
“Last season I set myself a target of 10 goals and managed to get 10, so I was happy. Hopefully I can reach my goals again – that’s all that’s on my mind.”
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