Former Crystal Palace winger John Salako says Wilfried Zaha cannot react to attempts to unsettle him. The winger has been in the headlines in recent weeks for comments made about the treatment he has received from opposition defenders, suggesting he would need to suffer a serious injury for referees to take notice.
That outburst came on the back of receiving particularly rough treatment against Huddersfield and has split opinion, with certain pundits suggesting it could lead to him being further targeted.
Salako, a former Eagles wideman himself, knows the perils that come with facing physical defending.
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After seeing Zaha receive a booking for a retaliatory challenge against the Terriers, the pundit has warned the winger not to react when teams come for him, otherwise referees could take action against him rather than the original perpetrators.
He told talkSPORT: “With any player, defenders are going to be aggressive and they are going to get wired into you. Not many defenders go out to hurt you, but a lot will talk to you and try and wind you up.
“What Wilfried has got to be careful about and what he has left himself open to is obviously people knowing that he is showing that bit of weakness, and is upset and he reacts.
“That is one thing he has got to deal with, because he gets up and he goes and maybe makes a challenge; the one at Huddersfield that he got booked for, it looked worse than it was.”