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Manchester United Transfer News: Wilfried Zaha Would Benefit More from Loan Move

SO KON PO, HONG KONG - JULY 29:  Wilfried Zaha of Manchester United reacts after missing an opportunity to score during the international friendly match between Kitchee FC and Manchester United at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2013 in So Kon Po, Hong Kong.  (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
Victor Fraile/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2014

One of David Moyes' biggest missteps since taking over as Manchester United manager continues to be his handling of Wilfried Zaha. I

t's time to rectify the mistake and let the player gain some experience on loan at another club.

Moyes went on record to throw a wet blanket on the rumours that Zaha would be leaving Old Trafford on a six-month loan this January, per the Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman:

Moyes said ahead of tomorrows game at Chelsea: "Wilfried Zaha has a chance.

"I have told him that if I can’t get him the games I will put him out on loan.

"But he can’t go out while we have Ashley and Nani injured and I would be surprised if anyone thought was a possibility."

Asked if he had argued with Zaha on Friday, Moyes said: "I had 30 seconds chat on the training pitch today and we were talking away. So there was nothing like that.

"I have indicated to the boy (that he can go on loan when others get fit).

"But he is a Manchester United player, that’s what he is."

Earlier in the month, Crystal Palace took themselves out of the running, per Sky Sports. But Jamie Jackson and James Riach of The Guardian reported that Cardiff City were interested in bringing the 21-year-old winger in during the January transfer window.

Now it would seem Zaha isn't going anywhere at all.

The problem with what Moyes said is that it's hard to take him at his word. He's featured Zaha in the senior squad a paltry four times across the Premier League, Capital One Cup and Community Shield. Even for a youngster who's clearly years away from his best, that's a shameful amount.

Zaha should be loaned out to a club such as Cardiff or Palace where he can be guaranteed football on a weekly basis.

Let's not forget that Manchester United paid £10 million up front to Crystal Palace this time last year to acquire Zaha and could pay an additional £5 million if certain clauses are met.

That's a fairly significant sum to spend on a player only to sit him on the bench each and every week.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11:  Manchester United Manager David Moyes is greeted by mascot Fred the Red prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on January 11, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It's almost as if Moyes is trying to stamp his authority on the club by making an example of one of Sir Alex Ferguson's last signings. That way, nobody questions who's running Manchester United.

There was that talk about Zaha dating Moyes' daughter, but that seemed to be a more fanciful suggestion for why he wasn't getting in the first team.

No matter the reason, Zaha is stuck in a vicious circle.

The argument could be made that he lacks the experience to start regularly for a team vying for a top-four spot, yet his current club isn't willing to let him gain that experience here, there or anywhere. So he's unable to earn the experience that would get him in the first team.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21:  Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on December 21, 2013 in Manchester, Eng
Stu Forster/Getty Images

If this is Moyes' viewpoint, it would seem extremely hypocritical. It's not as if Adnan Januzaj had a wealth of experience before breaking into the first team. What's the excuse for not playing Zaha?

What's worse is that Ashley Young and Nani have both been far from impressive this season. Nani is his usual hot-and-cold self—when he can actually get on the pitch—and Young has turned into a shell of his former self.

It makes you wonder if Zaha is much of a downgrade the players ahead of him.

Whether it's at Manchester United or somewhere else, he needs to play regular football. The early-to-mid 20s are the critical developmental years for footballers. The longer Zaha sits on the bench, the more Moyes is risking ruining what is a promising player.

You don't help a club earn promotion to the Premier League, scoring six goals and assisting on another 10 in the Championship by accident.

Zaha is clearly a talented player, but you'd never guess as much by looking at his United career.

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