Football

Wilfried Zaha: Manchester United's new wing wizard

Winger Zaha helped Crystal Palace seal promotion. (©GettyImages)
Winger Zaha helped Crystal Palace seal promotion. (©GettyImages).

When you look at the United squad, the team only has four options in wide positions, and not one of them will spur hope in the hearts of the United faithful. 

Antonio Valencia was a shadow of his former self throughout an almost entirely ineffectual campaign, only slightly picking up in the handful of dead rubbers after the title had been secured. 

The fact that he showed his best form immediately after returning from his injury suggests that he can be the player he was once again, but it is a long way from being certain.

Next up we have the Portuguese teaser Nani, whose every bit of skill and goals seems to come at precisely the time when all patience has been exhausted, prolonging a poor career at United long past what it ought to have been. 

Nani's stay at Old Trafford might be coming to an end however with the club ready to offload him for the right price and ending fans' frustration of watching him play.

Ashley Young, who had a mediocre debut campaign, and Ryan Giggs who is approaching his 40th birthday, and the picture out wide does not look good.

It is clear that United was able to win their 20th league title without much aid from their wide men, but their title win was also down to the fact that other title contenders were under-performing. 

Come next season this will not be the case as opposing teams look to regroup and reinforce their squads. Complacency will also be looked into and clamped down on.

If United are to lead the race for the domestic title next season, their wingers cannot afford to under-perform like they did this season. Which is where young Wilfried Zaha comes into the picture.

Whether the defence is open or compact, pushed up or dropped deep, his pace and trickery can unlock defences and create space for others as doubling-up becomes a necessity. 

He also has a decent delivery and will be able to supply United's top class strikers. 

He usually uses pace and an array of tricks to weave his way through defences, something which United have not seen much of ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club and before Ryan Giggs reinvented himself as a central player. 

Zaha made 49 appearances for Crystal Palace this season, helping them to promotion with eight goals along the way.

He definitely has the potential to develop into a top player at United and hopefully the new manager uses him to aid in his development. 

Players like Ronaldo probably only come about once every generation and if Zaha can reach even half the ability of the United favourite, he has the potential to be a key player for the Red Devils in the coming seasons.

 

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United

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