Wilfried Zaha is hopeful a successful loan spell with Crystal Palace will lead to a long-awaited place in the Manchester United first-team and also result in further international recognition from England.
Zaha was the final signing of the illustrious Sir Alex Ferguson reign at Old Trafford but has made only two appearances for Manchester United and has now been loaned out for the second time in little over a year with the club.
The 21-year-old spent the second-half of last season with Cardiff, but was unable to prevent the club from being relegated from the Premier League, and has now returned to Crystal Palace, the team with which he forged his reputation.
Zaha scored on his second debut for Palace, a late goal against Newcastle, and already appears to be playing with the confidence and verve that he had shown previously at Selhurst Park.
But, despite his affection to Palace, the ambition remains to become an established Manchester United player and he is optimistic that regular football for this season at least will enhance his prospects.
“I signed for a couple of years at United so the goal is to do my best here for the season and go back and make sure I get back into the team and the England set-up,” Zaha said, as reported by Goal.com.
“It is just great to be playing again. There is nothing like being out on the pitch and the crowd singing your name.
“It was a bit frustrating. What am I doing if I am not playing?
“I know how everything works here and the gaffer just wants to give me game-time and wants me to improve so I am just glad I am back.”
Old Trafford problems
It will certainly be interesting to see how Zaha develops although it has never really be his ability that has been in question, rather his attitude and application away from the pitch.
Off-field antics, some more believable than others, appeared to be a key reason for why he was hardly given a sniff by previous manager David Moyes, while he hardly endeared himself to Louis van Gaal after his arrival at the club.
It was claimed during pre-season that, on one occasion, Zaha was the only player who did not report to Carrington after they were given the day off, even though Van Gaal offered a strong hint that attendance was still expected.
Van Gaal later insisted that he had no issue with Zaha, but the problem was rather where to fit him in the system, with the new manager believing his attributes were more suited to a place up front rather than on the wing.
Manchester United fans will certainly be hoping Zaha can become a player of value to the club, although it would appear his future is very much in his own hands.
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