There is a pressure set upon any player when signing for Manchester United, but 20 year-old Wilfried Zaha has the particular distinction of being the final signing of the Sir Alex Ferguson era. 

Signing in January, Zaha never had the chance to play for Ferguson, returning back to Crystal Palace on loan for the remainder of the 2012-13. Instead Zaha has become part of the beginnings of the David Moyes era. 

As the season begins, the questions towards Zaha also start; can he cut it in the Premier League? Will he be value for money, or will he be another expensive English flop? 

The one thing that Zaha clearly has is confidence, some players become the centre of attention and crumble under the pressure, and although Zaha has yet to truly be tested, he has not been afraid to demonstrate his skill and flair. 

While transfers have been quiet for Manchester United, Zaha has been a real positive for the club during their pre-season tour, and with injuries to Ashley Young and Nani, may very well be given a starting berth in the opener against Swansea. 

For all his confidence, skills and trickery, the one sign of Zaha's game that evidently needs time to develop is his decision making. A clear example of this fact came in last weekends community shield game against Wigan, although the winger put in a promising performance, there were signs that he can often overdo things, whether it be fancy flicks, or taking on too many players when the pass is available. 

It is these assessments of Zaha that has already drawn comparisons to a young and fresh Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese international himself being a player in his early days to have all the skill in the world, but lacked that finishing product. The former United star, now at Madrid, went on to become the best player in the world in 2008.

This is not to say that Zaha is expected to replicate Ronaldo, but his first season will definitely allow fans, pundits and the United coaches to understand just how far the former Crystal Palace man will go. 

With rumours of a loan deal back to Crystal Palace dead in the water, it appears as though Zaha may not be on the fringes of the first team this season. 

In some cases of youth players, they can be over exposed by first team action, and can often see a stall in their progression. For the case of Zaha however, he appears a player who is certainly ready to take the stage. 

2013-14 may not tell everyone the whole story about Wilfried Zaha, but for a player with as much promise as he has, the season may go along to tell everyone whether he has the ability and mental toughness to realise his potential. 

 

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Topics:
#Wilfried Zaha
#Premier League
#Manchester United
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