Wilfried Zaha: Play him or lose him

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When Manchester United signed Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace, there was a genuine belief that the young winger could be the solution to the Red Devils' ongoing winger problems - something they've not found an answer to since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Real Madrid.

In fact, some people had even compared Zaha's raw and direct approach to the Portuguese star himself, suggesting he has the potential to go on and become the 'next Ronaldo' - a claim backed up by Zaha's pre-season form.

As Zaha played a key role in United's Premier League preparations - he was a stand-out performer during United's pre-season tour of Asia - their predictions seemed to have some foundation too.

He followed that up with a decent display in the Community Shield against Wigan, impressing during United's 2-0 win over Championship outfit, Wigan Athletic.

Granted, Zaha showed a tendency to be wasteful and it was clear that he was very much a work in progress - comparable to Ronaldo when he first joined the Old Trafford outfit back in 2003.

From then, fans and pundits alike expected Zaha to be used sparingly and integrated into Manchester United's first-team gradually, but his omission from the squad altogether has come as something of a surprise.

As David Moyes continues to plump for the tried and tested Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young - with the latter in particular coming under fire after a disappointing start to the season - surely there is no better time to give Zaha his chance to impress?

If Moyes continues to overlook the £15 million-man, he risks unsettling his young starlet, who will be eager to continue his development.

The best possible way to do this is to play regular first-team football - if Zaha cannot get this at Old Trafford, he may well ask to leave or risk stagnating in United's second string.

With World Cup 2014 just around the corner, Zaha will be desperate to book his place in England's 25-man squad, assuming Roy Hodgson's men qualify for the tournament. Perhaps a temporary switch to a Premier League rival would be the short-term answer?

Zaha was previously linked with a temporary switch to Everton - should he secure a move and impress away from United, he could then come back into the fold and force his way into the Red Devils' first-team reckoning.

But Moyes must manage the situation very carefully or risk unsettling Zaha - the ex-Everton chief should learn the lessons from the way predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson mismanaged the Paul Pogba situation, as Moyes will not want to lose another up-and-coming star.

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