Wilfried Zaha has the ability to play for a top-six side again - Chris Hughton

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton has backed Wilfried Zaha to play for a top-six side again if he leaves Crystal Palace.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 3:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 4:55 pm
Wilfried Zaha. Picture by Getty Images

Zaha had a brief spell with Manchester United from 2013 to 2015 but played just two games before returning to the Eagles.

The Ivory Coast international has been in sparkling form in recent week for Palace. Speaking ahead of Brighton's trip to Palace tomorrow, Hughton was asked if Zaha could play for a top-six side again and said: "If you are asking me if he has that type of ability, yes, I think he's a top player.

"The top players can't do it game in, game out, but sometimes on their day they are unplayable.

"He certainly fits into that type of category. He can have days where it's so difficult to get close to him."

Zaha scored twice when Palace beat Brighton 3-2 at Selhurst Park last season and Hughton is wary of the 26-year-old's threat again.

He said: "He's on a good run at the moment of scoring goals and his contribution to the team.

"It's not just about an individual stopping him, it has to be a team shape and a team performance that doesn't allow their best players to get into the best positions to have those opportunities.

"He would be no different to other quality players. If I look at what they've got, Batshuayi up top, Townsend, Schlupp playing on that left hand side.

"You've got to be mindful of all of their better players, but there is no doubt that once Zaha gets the ball he is a big threat.”