Manchester United don’t always get it right in the transfer market. But, in the case of Wilfried Zaha, it’s still difficult to know for absolutely certain whether they got it right or wrong. Because Zaha makes the case of Casper Hauser look positively straight forward.
Zaha showed blistering pace and some wonderful bits of skill while at Manchester United. But the feeling is that he regularly forgets to engage in the nuts and bolts of the game – the in game protocol which every player needs to learn to be a top pro.
We felt at the time that he was hard done by at Manchester United. But when he went to Cardiff on loan last season he hardly got a kick. And the same has happened at Crystal Palace. His ‘homecoming’ was expected to be accompanied by fireworks on the pitch but Zaha simply hasn’t produced on a regular basis and has been left out of the starting eleven by Neil Warnock too. But Warnock says:
“Young lads in particular are hot and cold,” he said. “They are up and down and you have to manage them and have a look and when they are up, use them and when they are down take them out of the limelight.
“He hasn’t played as many games as he would like but I think he is improving as a player and a person and that will help him.
“I talk to Wilfried all the time and we played them (Manchester United) recently and I think Wilfried is far better than some of those in the team,” he added.
“There are some parts of his game he has to change to become a top player and that’s what he is working on at the moment, because he wants to be a top player.”
All these managers who coach him talk about Zaha very highly but most seem loathe to give him a start. It’s a really odd situation. We feel that the Manchester United youngster needs to focus more if he wants to break through. It most probably won’t be at United now – Zaha’s natural level seems to be as a good player at a smaller club – a big fish in smaller pond if you will.
But if he can channel his energies and get a run in the team there is no reason why he can’t have a decent Premier League career. Sadly for him, it looks unlikely that he will succeed any time soon at Old Trafford – for the home team anyway.
Manchester United fans: good enough for another chance at Old Trafford?