Sir Alex Ferguson is disappointed that things didn’t work out for Wilfried Zaha at Manchester United.
That is according to Alan Pardew, who ended the winger’s miserable two years at Old Trafford when he brought him back to Crystal Palace in 2015.
Though Ferguson signed Zaha, he wasn’t around to see him leave. It was Louis van Gaal who let the former prodigy return to Selhurst Park and you have to wonder if Ferguson would have been able to coax more out of the 23-year-old if he hadn’t retired in 2013.
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Zaha will take on his former team in the FA Cup final next month. Though he’s hardly set the Premier League alight this season, it’s nice to see the winger playing regular football.
He has plenty of years ahead of him and Ferguson clearly thought highly of the trickster.
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Pardew, who guided his team to the final following Sunday’s 2-1 win over Watford on Sunday, claimed Zaha has “unbelievable potential”.
The Palace boss is quoted by the Manchester Evening News as saying: “The final is going to be a big day for Wilf. This guy has got unbelievable potential.
“I spoke to Sir Alex in the week. He was asking about him because I think he's genuinely disappointed it didn't work out for Wilf."
Zaha: United are just another opponent
The former England Under-21 international made just four appearances for United before returning to the club he joined as a 12-year-old.
Yet he’s dismissed the significance of next month’s final against his old team.
Speaking after the win over Watford, he said: “Everybody tells me about Man United but Man United is just another team in the final,” per the Telegraph.
“I don’t see it as anything special. My only objective is to win. It can be United or Aston Villa or Chelsea or whoever.
“It doesn’t mean anything to me. I went to United. What happened at United happened. I’m back at Palace and I’m playing for Palace.
“I don’t have anything against United. It won’t make me run any faster. I’ll still play the same way I play. Hopefully I can score a goal against them. I’ll be buzzing if I do.”
Pardew won’t care what Zaha’s mindset is heading into the final. He’ll simply be wanting his winger to put in a terrific performance and give it his all.
There’s an added incentive for Pardew to record an upset win, too. He was part of the Palace side that lost to United in the 1990 FA Cup final as the Eagles lost 4-3 over two legs.