What Next For Wilfried Zaha?

Twelve months ago, Wilfried Zaha was tipped to be the next big thing at Manchester United, as was David Moyes to be a successful manager. Both parts of that sentence never fulfilled, yet Wilfried Zaha looks to get another opportunity under Louis Van Gaal in a newly wrote chapter for the club.

Memories will subconsciously recollect of the horror that each pair of eyes struggled to behold last season, but one of the symptoms to Moyes’ eventual failure came in the form of his reluctance to be inventive and bold in selection.

Outrage amongst fans was introduced in its earliest form in the early months of last season when Moyes failed to give Wilfried Zaha a chance to illustrate to the average spectator of his wonderful potential. The winger bagged just three appearances under Moyes, starting none of the two Barclays Premier League games he featured in, before being shifted out to Cardiff City on loan in January where he featured in 13 games (six starts in all competitions).

Zaha was bought by Sir Alex Ferguson as a parting gift amid interest from the likes Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea in 2013. A tremendous season with Crystal Palace saw them promoted to the Premier League in the 2012/13 campaign with his influential assistance, and swiftly saw him turn into a phenomena that caused debate as to whether he would be heading to the World Cup with England in 2014.

The forgotten youngster’s career has hit stalemate, which is apparent otherwise would have been at least considered for Brazil if he carried his form with Palace to United or Cardiff, which he was disappointingly ineffective for large parts under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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With a managerial switch come changes, and with Louis Van Gaal known to make his presence known at all times and his players whether they are wanted or not by him immediately, Crystal Palace’s co-chairman has taken the opportunity to fuel speculation of a Zaha return. Steve Parish, speaking to the Croydon Advertiser, said:

“It depends on what the new Manchester United manager wants but also what my manager wants.

“My manager [Tony Pulis] has got to be convinced that it would be the right move for the player and the club. You can’t not be a fan of Wilfried when he plays well. Is it the right thing all round? It has to be right.

“Maybe they [Manchester United] don’t want Wilfried, I don’t know. My wish for Wilfried is that the new manager comes in and he’s a sensation at Man United.

“If he’s sold then I will sit down with our manager and see what our manager thinks.”

Van Gaal has previously outlined his intentions to inject the existing youth at the club into his first team plans. One of his better managerial attributes have been to make existing players better performers under him, and for Manchester United this may come good better than most expect.

Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young have painfully occupied the wings for a few seasons delivering nothing short of fruitless supplies, thus rendering wing play as one of United’s most ineffective and predictable Plan B’s (see United vs Fulham if unsure) in recent times. The introduction of Wilfried Zaha can contradict everything that Moyes was, in being un-inventive and not bold, by being the polar opposite and finally starting to relish in a new lease of life.

The first signs of how high Van Gaal rates Zaha will come to show in the later weeks of July as he takes on his first pre-season tour as Manchester United to give a tease at the new era for the club.

By Abdullah Mamaniyat

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