Manchester United’s clash with Crystal Palace later on today will see Wilfried Zaha face his former side.
Zaha was one of the countries hottest prospects when Sir Alex Ferguson fought off competition to sign the £15 million winger. His time at United, a mere 18 months, was undoubtedly a huge disappointment. The youngster made just two Premier League appearances for United.
Zaha’s stint at United did raise a few questions, the main one being aimed at why the Englishman didn’t get given a ‘real chance’. This is a question Zaha himself has publicly asked, how can someone with so much potential and sheer skill be subjected to such a miserable affair at United?
The answer, although not factual, could lie with the player himself. Reports claimed that the 22-year-old was the only player not to turn up to Louis van Gaal’s first training session, which was said to be ‘optional’.
That wasn’t all, under ex United manager, David Moyes, the winger clearly showed signs of being unhappy. This was all but confirmed when the player was loaned out to Cardiff and uploaded a picture to the social media site Instagram, with a picture of himself and the then Cardiff manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, titled with something along the lines of ‘so good to have a manager who believes in me’.
It’s clear Zaha, like every other footballer in the world, wants a first team role in the side he plays for, which is totally understandable. But did the player’s attitude prevent him from being given that chance to show his worth? The answer to that, we’ll surely never know.
Wilfried Zaha’s move back to boyhood club Crystal Palace in the January transfer window was a big blow, not just because the fee was only a fraction of the price United paid for the player, but mainly because United fans like myself, knew the player had so much more to offer.
Now a regular in the Crystal Palace team, Zaha has shined. The faith new manager Alan Pardew has shown in Zaha has really paid off. The player is showing what he’s really made of, and it’s great to see, although disappointing it’s not in a United shirt.
The game today will almost certainly feature Zaha, it’ll be good to see how the youngster performs. For United’s sake, let’s hope his pace and trickery is kept under control.