Crystal Palace captain Paddy McCarthy has warned striker Wilfried Zaha not to leave the club too early.

The England U19 international has emerged on the radar of a number of Barclays Premier League clubs in recent months, with The Daily Mirror citing both Liverpool and Newcastle United as clubs tracking the teenager's progress.

But, the Eagles defender believes a move to one of the big-boys too quickly could be detrimental to the 19-year-old's own progression in the game, and is hopeful the 'special talent' will decide that Selhurst Park is the best place to be.

"Wilfried is a special talent, probably the most naturally gifted individual I have come across in my career, and this is the perfect club for him at the moment," said McCarthy after Palace's League Cup semi-final, first leg win over Cardiff.

"Every week, you see the improvement in these kids because they are being managed the right way. It would be criminal for these lads to move on too soon in their careers. Dougie Freedman [Palace's manager] won't stand in their way if they need to move on - but he won't let them leave too early, as we have seen with the likes of John Bostock.

"I'm sure Wilfried will be with us for the second leg against Cardiff, and to stay involved in this fantastic journey we've been on."

Palace moved a step closer to Wembley with the 1-0 win over the Bluebirds on Tuesday night, and could ironically face Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool in the final after their 1-0 win at Manchester City last night.

Zaha would likely be involved, having featured 64 times in the Npower Championship since the beginning of the 2010-11 season.

The Ivorian-born forward also penned a new five-year deal with the south London club in December, meaning Liverpool would have to pay a substantial fee to lure the player to Anfield.

Topics:
#Premier League
#Crystal Palace
#Liverpool
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