Wilfried Zaha Will Be a Big Hit at Manchester United

Danny McCannContributor IMay 29, 2013

United fans will enjoy Zaha's skills
United fans will enjoy Zaha's skillsRichard Heathcote/Getty Images

Wilfried Zaha signed off with a man-of-the-match display to help Crystal Palace gain promotion to the EPL, but he will now focus on trying to impress David Moyes.

The new Manchester United boss has gained a player with huge potential and a raw talent that will surely flourish under the spotlight of Old Trafford.

Eagles manager Ian Holloway believes that Zaha's future is at United and that loan deals are just speculation, as reported on SkySports.com by Pete O'Rourke:

When are we going to admit how good someone is - he is only 20 - and he was the difference yesterday. He frightened them to death.

I am just delighted for Wilf to end his Palace career the way he did yesterday and how everybody is talking about him.

In an interview that aired on Sky Sports, the day after Holloway led Palace to promotion, he seemed frustrated that some 'so-called experts' were putting Zaha down.

Having looked around many reports and articles, most seem to be positive comments about the youngster.

James Olley of the London Evening Standard highlighted that Wilfried Zaha’s performance "underlined both his potential and his shortcomings."

Apart from the above minor criticism, it's obvious that Holloway must have read other, more damning reports of his former star player.

After Eagles chairman Steve Parish told BBC Radio 4 "We are certainly not thinking about loaning him back," it's time to focus on the next stage of his career.

It would have been nice to see Zaha spend at least one season under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, who signed him in January.

However, he is going to be nurtured under the careful watch of Moyes, who has shown evidence of giving youth a chance in his Everton days.

A certain Wayne Rooney and, more recently, Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman have all been given their chance to mix it with the more experienced players.

Now, Zaha has to show Moyes that his undoubted talent can shine in a United team filled with star players.

He will get a chance to prove his worth especially with the inconsistent performances by wingers like Ashley Young, Nani and Antonio Valencia.

With Zaha's arrival, it could be the end of the line for Nani, who has been linked with moves away from Old Trafford for several months.

Zaha would bring back an element of excitement to the United fans not seen since the days of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Now, clearly it's too soon to start making bold comparisons to one of the top players in the world, but just think back to Ronaldo's first season at Old Trafford.

He had all these tricks and skills, but his end product wasn't great.  This is similar to Zaha and was proven most recently in the Championship playoff final.

Zaha took on players at will and showed several glimpses of his talents, but he then gave the ball away on a few occasions. 

But at 20, he is still learning and maturing, and he will start to produce on a more regular basis.

This season for Palace, he scored eight league goals and provided nine assists, via ESPNFC.com, which isn't a bad return for a winger.

Replicating this in the Premier League will of course be much harder, and the likelihood is that he would be expected to reach similar targets as a minimum.

The England Under-21 player must be given the confidence to approach each future game with no fear, and with a license to attack defenders with the same vigour as he has shown all season.

He has pace and skill, and he seems to bounce off players due to being deceptively strong, so on the surface he has all the attributes to be a top EPL player.

England manager Roy Hodgson, who gave him a call-up to the first team against Sweden last year, thinks he is destined for big things.

Speaking to TheFA.com he said:  

It seems to me he is on the threshold of something big.

He will be given the opportunity.

When a club like Manchester United is prepared to pay a lot of money for a player because they will help them to win things it is a tremendous boost to both confidence and ego.

United's new man has the potential to be England's star at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and could be one of the most skilful players since the likes of Paul Gascoigne and John Barnes.

At United, he could play on either wing or eventually be given a free role, in the same way that Gareth Bale has been given at Tottenham.

If he hits the ground running in the new Moyes era, he might oust the likes of Young and Nani, but Valencia should still get a good run, as his partnership with Rafael da Silva is strong.

Valencia is still a decent crosser and has the ability to regularly beat his man. After a season of underwhelming performances, he showed toward the end that he is getting back to his best.

Wherever Moyes chooses to play Zaha, in what will be a mean-looking attack, he is sure to become a crowd-pleaser for years to come.


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