Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Wilfried Zaha Would Benefit from a Loan

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2013

PETAH TIQWA, ISRAEL - JUNE 08:  Wilfried Zaha of England during the UEFA European U21 Championships, Group A between England and Norway at HaMoshava Stadium on June 8, 2013 in Petah Tiqwa, Israel.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

If Manchester United have the option to loan out Wilfried Zaha next season, they should give it some serious thought.

Goal's Wayne Veysey reported West Ham are interested in bringing in the 20-year-old winger:

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is hopeful that if Moyes cannot find a regular place for Zaha in the United squad then he might be willing to loan him to a club who are not an immediate rival and where he can be guaranteed playing time.

Allardyce wants to boost his team’s attacking options despite completing the signing of principal summer target Andy Carroll from Liverpool for an initial £15.5m on Wednesday.

There's a good chance David Moyes will in fact have plans for Zaha. The player was instrumental in getting Crystal Palace promoted to the Premier League this past season. He scored six goals and had 10 assists during the Championship season. Despite his youth, Zaha is a very talented player.

Plus, United could be bracing for the departure of Nani. The Daily Mirror's John Cross reported the winger may be on the move this summer. At this point, it's probably better off if it's assumed he's not going to be at Old Trafford by the time August rolls around.

Still, loaning out Zaha might make more sense than keeping him in the squad.

Moyes can still play Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa out on the right if he does want to play with wingers. United have more than enough strikers to play a formation that doesn't require much width on the right.

The more important thing is easing Zaha's transition to the Premier League. He's never played a season of top-flight football. The Championship is a much different level than the Premier League.

It's hard enough for young players to make the jump to Manchester United. That task becomes doubly difficult when a player has never played in a first division.

Aside from living up to his potential, Zaha will have to justify his £10 million price tag—which could rise to £15 million. It's not exactly fair to put that on the player, but supporters do it anyway.

That's a lot of pressure put on a young player, especially one as young and inexperienced as Zaha. There will be plenty of supporters wanting to see immediate results.

Just look at the criticism of David de Gea when he first arrived at Atletico Madrid. If Zaha doesn't fire right out of the gate, some will likely start to question his transfer fee and if he's good enough to play for Manchester United.

Having Zaha get his feet wet at West Ham would be good. He'd have plenty of first-team opportunities while getting used to the style of the Premier League and some of his opponents. The demand for him to produce would be much less significant as well.

His performances would still be followed by fans and the media, but he wouldn't be asked to contribute to a team trying to win the Premier League and Champions League.

Daniel Sturridge, Romelu Lukaku, Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere have all benefited from being loaned out to mid-table sides early in their careers.

Sam Allardyce is criticized for his direct style, but that would be rather helpful for Zaha. Allardyce would use Zaha to provide plenty of width and support for Carroll.

Loaning him out shouldn't be considered a priority for Moyes. If Zaha doesn't look to be a lock for the first team, though, the manager needs to weight the option.