Football

Wilfried Zaha.

Rio Ferdinand finally explains why Wilfried Zaha didn't succeed at Man United

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Wilfried Zaha has been a man possessed since he made his comeback from injury for Crystal Palace.

Roy Hodgson has guided the Eagles away from the relegation zone after going unbeaten in their last seven and the 3-0 victory away at Leicester on Saturday was arguably their best yet.

Palace hadn't scored a goal away from home this season, then they get three in one day. Funny old game, eh?

There is no doubt that the catalyst behind their fine form has been Zaha. His four goals and creative play has been the devastating difference for Palace and it's left many England fans wondering why he was allowed to declare for the Ivory Coast.

Of course, Zaha has already had a crack at the big time when he moved to Manchester United back in 2013 as Sir Alex Ferguson's last-ever signing, but he never seemed to get a chance.

It's taken a move back to his first club to revitalise his career and now he seems destined for a big move again. Speaking after Man City's 4-1 win over Spurs and looking over Saturday's results, Rio Ferdinand was asked on BT Sport what went wrong for Zaha at Old Trafford.

"I think with a lot of transfer comes timing - that determines whether it is a go or a failure," Ferdinand said. "I think he was young, inexperienced, need time to mature and I don't think he was probably given enough opportunities.

"David Moyes was under a lot of pressure at the time and he didn't see him as one of his go-to guys, so timing was a key factor. I think if he had his time again he'd maybe do a few things differently, but what I will say is as far as raw ability goes, he'd be up there.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League

"This kid, if you said to him I want you to play against a full-back, stand him up and beat him one V one, he'd be one of my first picks in the league - because he has that ability, he can move anybody.

"But then it was about developing the end product; your assists, your decision making in the final third, position to take up the ball, receive the ball - those were things he needed to learn.

"I think he's on the right path now and he's in an environment where he's ultra-confident and he's comfortable with Crystal Palace. He's someone who I think will get a move and we'll see if it's a different ending to what we saw at Man United."

Leicester City v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Rio also admitted that he was hard on Zaha, but for good reason.

"To be honest, I was probably one of his biggest critics at the club. I was probably on the training pitch always shouting at him and demanding of him. I was trying to spark something inside of him and help realise his potential.

"I always say to young players: if I'm not shouting at you and pulling you up in training, that means I don't think you've got a chance, I don't care about you, you're not going to help my team win something - but I saw huge potential in Wilf."

Does Zaha deserve another big move?

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Topics:
Wilfried Zaha
Rio Ferdinand
Football
Crystal Palace

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