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Man Utd winger back in World Cup frame after loan exploits

| 17.02.2014

Wilfried Zaha’s loan move to Cardiff from Manchester United could yet see the former Crystal Palace flyer book a place in England’s 2014 World Cup squad, according to Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson.

After a terrible start to his career in the Premier League under David Moyes, who refused to start the Ivory Coast-born youngster in the top flight, Zaha has already begun his rehabilitation in south Wales.

The 21-year-old came on for his debut after 38 minutes with Cardiff 1-0 down against Norwich and changed the game, laying on the assist for Craig Bellamy’s equaliser before Kenwyne Jones grabbed the winner in a 2-1 Bluebirds triumph.

Zaha has completed an impressive 2.7 dribbles on average in his three league games for Cardiff, which would put him amongst the top five marauders in the division if extrapolated over the season.

The ex-Eagles star’s recent exploits prompted England chief Hodgson to name-check Zaha, who’s 10/1 to make the plane to Brazil, alongside a selection of in-form widemen who still harbour hopes of an international recall (or, in some cases, debut) ahead of this summer’s jamboree.

Adam Johnson – who was tipped to make the squad at 12/1 on these pages recently and has since been backed into 4/1 – also received a mention, as did in-form Liverpool pace-merchant Raheem Sterling, who’s as short as 6/4 to be picked in the 23-man touring party.

A surprise name mentioned by the 66-year-old was Nathan Redmond, the 19-year-old former Birmingham City youth snapped up last summer by Norwich for £3.5m.

Redmond has only scored once in the Premier League, but has laid on three more for his Carrow Road teammates this term and has averaged at least one key pass in each of his 23 appearances.

However, with such fierce competition in the wide positions, Ladbrokes’ 14/1 quote about the youngster’s hopes of going to the World Cup with England looks too short if anything.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune