Manchester United Transfer Rumors: Wilfried Zaha Would Shine at Old Trafford

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace during the npower Championship match between Crystal Palace and Derby County at Selhurst Park on November 17, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Crystal Palace sensation Wilfried Zaha has generated a lot of hype, setting him up to become a popular target when the January transfer window opens. While there will be plenty of clubs interested, he would thrive with Manchester United.

Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail reports Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson is keen on bringing in the rapidly improving striker and would be willing to make a major offer to complete a deal. He states the initial asking price is around £20 million, but it's flexible.

"And now United are set to offer ‘what it takes’ to see off Tottenham and Arsenal in the January window which includes handing the 20-year-old better terms to come to Old Trafford."

It's no surprise Zaha has started to generate interest from some of the Premier League's top clubs. His potential is through the roof and he's been developing at a steady rate for the Eagles. His stock should only continue to rise in the coming years.

His combination of speed and natural technical skill, as he's illustrated so often en route to four goals in Championship play this season, makes him one of the most intriguing prospects in England's second division. He's certainly fun to watch.

Although the England international, who was born in the Ivory Coast, has been progressing at a nice rate, he still have some developing to do before he's ready to get featured on a weekly basis at Old Trafford.

That doesn't mean Ferguson should back off, though. If he waits until Zaha is ready to make an immediate first-team impact, the asking price will be through the roof. He would be wise to make a push in January, even if he has to fight a couple clubs to reach an agreement.

It's become more common for the longtime manager to target players before the reach peak value in recent years. Not only does it save the team some money, it gives him some extra options moving forward when it comes to selling, as well.

The downside is a lack available playing time as the Red Devils are chasing trophies. It's tough for a young player with as much upside as Zaha to sit on the bench for extended periods of time without losing a little bit of his edge.

That said, the risk is far outweighed by the potential reward. If Ferguson is as interested as the Daily Mirror report suggests, he will ensure Zaha is able find playing time. Greg Stobart of reports he might even let the young star stay with the Eagles until season's end.

If Zaha does end up with United, it's only a matter of time before he carves out a starting spot for himself and begins to show off his potential.

The sky's the limit, especially if he's surrounded by the immense talent at Old Trafford.