Joe Cole admitted he was ‘disappointed’ with Wilfried Zaha’s performance against Chelsea after he was utterly dominated by Reece James.
The 19-year-old, making his first Premier League start, deputised for club captain Cesar Azpilicueta after impressing with a goal in the midweek draw against Ajax.
Zaha struggled to make any sort of impact against one the clubs who are reportedly monitoring his situation after he handed in a transfer request in the summer.
Arsenal, too, attempted to prise Zaha from Crystal Palace, before turning their attentions to Nicolas Pepe, but former Chelsea winger Cole claims Zaha’s no-show at Stamford Bridge won’t have impressed his suitors.
‘I’m disappointed with Zaha today. Reece James has got in his head,’ he told BT Sport.
“No one will play Zaha better all season!”
It’s fair to see Owen Hargreaves and Joe Cole were impressed by Reece James’ first Premier League start! 👊 pic.twitter.com/5tYjyvuYuL
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 9, 2019
‘He’s let a young full-back dominate him. This Zaha five minutes ago was saying he wanted a move to the big clubs.
‘He said he wanted to go and play for this club, that club.
‘Reece James has come on his debut, got in his head and a player of his quality letting the ball under his feet.
‘I think credit to Reece James but Wilf Zaha needs to show more if he wants to make that next step.’
Fellow pundit Owen Hargreaves, meanwhile, preferred to concentrate on the performance of James and claimed nobody will do a better job of marking Zaha this season.
He added: ‘Nobody will play Wilf Zaha better this season than Reece James did today.
‘He was quick, he was physical and he’s a good athlete that’s what these young guys give you.
‘He stood up to him every time. Nobody does that with Wilf Zaha everybody runs away from him because they’re scared they will dribble by him.
‘I loved his game he was close to perfect.’
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