Football

Wilfried Zaha: I thank Louis van Gaal for letting me join Crystal Palace

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Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha is determined to prove a point to Manchester United when he faces his former club in the Premier League this weekend.

The 22-year-old endured a difficult spell at Old Trafford after signing for the Red Devils in a £10 million deal in January 2013 when Sir Alex Ferguson was still in charge.

Zaha remained at Selhurst Park for the rest of the 2012/13 campaign and helped the Eagles gain promotion back to the top-flight, before heading north to link up with the reigning champions.

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It was supposed to be the start of a successful career with Manchester United, but things never really worked out for the fleet-footed forward.

He failed to make any kind of impression on Ferguson's successor David Moyes and made just four senior appearances before being loaned out to Cardiff City in the mid-season window last term.

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Despite the Bluebirds suffering relegation the England U21 international showed glimpses of his potential again in South Wales, and when Moyes was sacked he held hopes of finally making a breakthrough at Old Trafford.

However, Louis van Gaal didn't fancy Zaha either and after little deliberation allowed the wide-man to rejoin Crystal Palace on loan last summer - a move that was made permanent at the turn of the year.

Looking back at his ill-fated spell with Manchester United the born-again star doesn't retain much frustration about how his time there played out, but admitted he'd like to get one over his old employers on Saturday.

“I did not really get a chance to prove myself [at United] and I have got to show what I could have done over there at Palace," he explained in an interview with the London Evening Standard.

“There is no point thinking about the past because there is nothing that really happened there. There is nothing to look back on because I never really played.

“I was just there - not playing and not doing anything. It would be nice to get a result.”

Asked about his relationship with Van Gaal, Zaha intimated that the veteran Dutch coach offered him little support, but will always be grateful for allowing him the opportunity to return home to south east London.

"He spoke to me now and then. The only thing I was happy about was that he let me go out on loan. He did not muck me around. So I have to thank him for that. A manager has got to do what a manager has got to do.”

Looking ahead to this weekend's encounter Zaha sees it as the perfect time to face Manchester United who come into the game off the back of three consecutive defeats, and the Eagles will also be looking to make home advantage count.

“Their confidence is not the best right now and we have got nothing to lose,” summarised Zaha. “We just need to have belief and the confidence to get the ball down and play. We can definitely get a result.”

Manchester United fans: Do you think Louis van Gaal made a mistake cashing in on Wilfried Zaha? Are you worried about the threat he'll possess this weekend? Share your thoughts below...

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Topics:
Football
Crystal Palace
Premier League
Manchester United
Wilfried Zaha

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