‘Hope they look after them’: Roy Hodgson fears for four key players

Lane Dias November 9, 2020
Photo by RICHARD HEATHCOTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has revealed he isn’t happy four of his key players have been allowed to travel to Africa for the latest round of international fixtures, according to Read Crystal Palace.

The Crystal Palace boss expressed his worries for the safe return of Wilfried Zaha, Jeffrey Schlupp, Jordan Ayew and Cheikhou Kouyate.

The players are all in contention to represent their nations in key double-headers for the African Cup Of Nations.

Zaha is in line to feature for the Ivory Coast against Madagascar. Schlupp and Ayew, meanwhile, will be in Ghana’s camp against Sudan. Kouyate will play for Senegal against Guinea-Bissau.

Hodgson’s concerns

Hodgson’s concerns focus on the global pandemic. He fears players will need to isolate for some considerable time on their return.

Speaking to the club’s official website following Palace’s 4-1 victory over Leeds United, Hodgson said: “I am a little bit disappointed players are going to go as far as Africa to play matches.

“I don’t know that in this covid world and environment in which we live, it is really great news to be sending your players to places like Sudan and Mauritius.”

Hodgson’s worries are made worse by the fact Palace were without Ayew for two matches as a result of a positive test that occurred during the previous international break.

Hodgson said: “It is something we probably have to do. But I am just hoping this time the countries they go and play for will look after them well. Because the last time we lost Jordan Ayew for two weeks.”

Potential blow for Palace

Crystal Palace sit eighth in the Premier League on 13 points.

The Eagles have performed well in recent matches, with just one defeat in their last four games. Any of the quartet being forced to miss games would certainly hamper Palace’s progress.