20 June 2020 22:30
Manager Roy Hodgson acknowledges that Crystal Palace are already bracing themselves for bids for Wilfried Zaha during the next transfer window. Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has acknowledged that there will likely be interest in Wilfried Zaha during the next transfer window. While the majority of clubs around Europe have had to scrap their initial plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, Zaha remains an attractive option. Although Palace are unlikely to receive any offers close to their alleged asking price of £80m, Hodgson admits that he would be surprised to see no interest from elsewhere. Speaking at a press conference, Hodgson said: "It's an unknown isn't it, how much money is going to be floating around in the next window.
"I think we'd be very foolish to relax and start thinking there will be no bids for Wilf Zaha, no big-money interest in him, because he's such a good player. "He has the ability to play at any level, anywhere in the world, so who knows? If we find it easy to keep him because there aren't big bids coming in, that would be fine." Zaha, who has previously been linked with Arsenal and Everton, still has three years left on his contract. Sign up to FREE email alerts from TeessideLive - Middlesbrough FC Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Invalid Email Skipper George Friend returned to the Middlesbrough line-up as the Championship - and the relegation battle - resumed. That was one of three changes boss Jonathan Woodgate made for the visit of Swansea as Boro returned to action a turbulent 105 days after a 1-0 win at Charlton lifted them out of the bottom three.
And for the first time he was allowed to name NINE substitutes thanks to a temporary rule-change introduced to help teams through a fast-forward fixture flurry after such a long lay-off. Friend, Dael Fry and Lukas Nmecha come into the side in place of Harold Moukoudi, Marvin Johnson and Marcus Tavernier. Skipper Friend has had an injury jinxed season and has only played six times. His last outing was in the 1-0 home defeat to Leeds just before the lockdown. He will line up at the back alongside Fry who comes in for on-loan French stopper Moukoudi, not included in the matchday 20. (Image: Simon Moore/Focus Images Ltd) Ryan Shotton is also included in the mix so that gives Woodgate three centre-backs and the possibility of playing with wing-backs. Hayden Coulson, who played in a more advanced role at Charlton is also handed a start so could play as a left-wing back with Jonny Howson on the other flank. The other change is the inclusion of on-loan Manchester City man Lukas Nmecha who starts up front in place of Tavernier and could play in either a wide role or off the targetman in a front two. Adam Clayton was giving a starting role in midfield. The workhorse is one of Boro's out of contract players but was the first to volunteer to play on and sign his waiver for the extra month and Woodgate singled him out for praise because of his attitude and commitment. Paddy McNair will partner him in midfield. The Northern Ireland midfielder scored Boro's goal at Charlton. Lewis Wing completes the engine room. The assertive nine men bench includes mercurial wideman Patrick Roberts, top scorer Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga plus maverick midfielder Ravel Morrison. Team: Stojanovic, Howson, Shotton, Fry, Friend; Clayton,Wing, McNair, Coulson; Nmecha, Gestede. Subs: Pears, Spence, Johnson, Saville, Morrison, Tavernier, Roberts, Fletcher, Assombalonga. Andre Ayew receives praise after fine display for Swansea against Middlesbrough The Ghana captain drew compliments from his boss after scoring and registering an assist on Saturday manager Steve Cooper has praised international Andre Ayew and attacking partners Rhian Brewster and Aldo Kalulu after their fine performances in a big win over in the Championship on Saturday. On the return of football after a coronavirus suspension, Ayew found the back of the net and provided an assist while Brewster scored twice as the Jack Army registered a 3-0 away triumph at Riverside. The three points have sent Swansea to eighth on the league table, boosting their bid for Premier League promotion. "To win 3-0 away from home is a fantastic result at any time of the season, never mind having not played for as many months as we have and having little preparation to get ready for the game," Cooper said after the game, as reported by his club's official website. "Rhian looked a real threat, got his two goals and he's disappointed he didn't have three," said the Swans boss. He's a really good player, but we are a team that likes to play as a team. "I thought Aldo was equally a threat down the right-hand side in the first half, and Andre was doing what he does week in and week out. "I thought Conor Gallagher did brilliantly – winning the penalty getting in the box - and the midfield players were also getting high up the pitch. "Rhian obviously will get some headlines because he got a brace but it's as a consequence of the team playing the way we want to play." Ayew has now taken his league tally to 12 goals in 35 appearances. The 30-year-old will hope to continue his fine form when the Jack Army host Luton Town in their next game on Saturday. He returned to Liberty Stadium after a loan stint with Turkish outfit last campaign. Ayew's future at Swansea though remains in doubt, having been heavily linked to a transfer away in his desire for top-flight action. The attacker rejoined the Jacks for a second spell in January 2018 after a frustrating move to. He first moved to in 2015 from French side Olympique. He once played for Lorient on loan.