Wilfried Zaha has reminded everyone of just why Manchester United felt compelled to sign him as a 20-year-old with his performances for Crystal Palace this season.
Zaha has been exceptional for the Eagles. It has to be said that without him, Palace would be closer to the relegation zone than the six points they are currently clear of it.
It’s hardly surprising that Zaha has been linked with a return to a top four club - The Sun recently reported that champions Manchester City are keen on a £50 million swoop for the 25-year-old.
The forward appears more ready now to deal with the pressure of playing for a big team than he was when Sir Alex Ferguson made him his final signing at Man United in 2013.
Zaha managed just four appearances for the Red Devils before he returned to Selhurst Park permanently in February 2015.
The Ivory Coast international has quietly gone about restoring his reputation and now there’s a case to be made that suggests he’s the best player outside of the top six clubs.
Zaha has opened up on his struggles at Man United in a refreshingly honest interview with Sky Sports, admitting that he arrived at Old Trafford as an immature player.
Zaha on Man United
"Me going to a big club when I was like 19 or 20, I didn't know what to expect, how to behave, whatever," Zaha said.
"I was just a youngster who wanted to do tricks, I didn't even care about end product really.
“Now I take things a lot more seriously - the gym aspect, recovery after games, my decision-making. I've learnt a lot in terms of my all-round game.
"I'm totally different now. I'm definitely more mature and more strong-minded. I had to be mentally strong after what I went through at Manchester United.
“I think in football, most of it is just mental. Once you've got that sorted, then you're good."
Zaha shares a close affinity with Palace - the club he joined as a 12-year-old - that makes you wonder whether he will ever fly the nest again.
"I don't let the other stuff sway me because there's no point,” he said about the transfer rumours. “I’m happy right now to be honest.
“I get crazy support every week from the Palace fans home and away. I'm playing and I'm enjoying my football. There's no reason not to be happy, really."
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