Wilfried Zaha: A view from a Crystal Palace fan

Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha looks to be a superb signing from Crystal Palace for Manchester United

As the Cesc Fabregas transfer debacle rolls on, Manchester United fans can be confident that Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever signing looks to be a good one – with the talented Wilfried Zaha putting in some impressive performances in pre-season. Of course, I remember Djemba Djemba having a decent pre-season, but Zaha’s trickery and skill will have reds off their seats in anticipation.

We caught up with Nic Potter, a season ticket holder at Crystal Palace for twenty years who has seen the likes of Chris Armstrong, Attilio Lombardo and, erm, Thomas Brolin – grace the Selhurst Park turf. We put some questions to Nic and here is what he thinks of the talented youngster.

1) Were you surprised United forked out the money in January for him?

Not surprised at all, I think £15 million total fee is a fair valuation for someone of Zaha’s potential.

2) How would you describe his playing style?

Pacey, direct, skilful

3) What are his strengths as a winger and what does he need to work on?

His main strengths are his ball control, pace and athleticism. He needs to work on his finishing and if that improves! Well, what a player he will be.

4) What United player, past or present, is he similar to?

Probably a young Ryan Giggs.

5) His goals in the playoff semi-final highlighted his class and also ability on the big stage. How will he get on in his first season?

I think he will get on well and develop to another level. He will be surrounded by international players and if nurtured properly will improve.

6) Steve Bruce said he was the best player in the league by “a million miles”. Will the same type of superlatives be thrown his way come May?

No – he won’t be the best player in the Premier League. He needs to be given some time to adjust to the Premier League.

7) What’s the best goal you’ve seen him score?

Brighton away in the play-off was pretty good! But I will always remember his assist at Peterborough last season as a moment of true class.

8) How will be handle the pressure and expectation of Old Trafford? He appears very confident of his own ability.

Zaha is confident but David Moyes will also play a big part in that.

9) He will forever be Ferguson’s last signing, what advise would you give to David Moyes on his development?

Keep working on his finishing and make sure you look after him well! Zaha is a gem.

10) Do you see him breaking into the international squad for the World Cup next summer?

Yes, I think that is entirely possible – he could be a huge asset to England in the future.

6 Comments on Wilfried Zaha: A view from a Crystal Palace fan

  1. Interesting views. I think Zaha will certainly be a member of the England squad for the World Cup. I think he’s already better than Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and he certainly has more to his game than Walcott too. He just needs playing time at United.

  2. The world is his oyster in my opinion. As stated if/when his finishing improves and final ball he will be an absolute monster. He has the athleticism and skill to be a United great. I see iconic no7 shirt being his in the not too distant future. Move over Ashley Young!

  3. Zaha has been a treat to watch in this pre-season tour. Hopefully he’ll get many opportunities to play in the starting XI this season.

  4. Wilf is one of those rare players that brings a smile to supporters faces. Well, supporters of his team anyway. He lives to beat players, loves the ball to feet, and is full of tricks. He plays football with joy and a smile on his face. If he works on his finishing and his decision making but keeps the raw skill and desire to beat players, he can go right to the top. A lot will depend on how he is coached and played.

  5. I just wonder how the fans will react to him when he has his frustrating days. He’s similar to Nani – takes risks and is therefore unpredictable. For some reason, we’ve liked our widemen to have graft rather than guile lately, and the way fans got on Nani’s back was harsh IMO (I wrote about it if you’re interested – http://www.yuppee.com/2013/07/27/nani-unpredictable-underrated-and-underused/ )

    Bear in mind Zaha is young and raw – and he’ll probably take more risks. He may even not track his full back a few times. But he should be encouraged to express himself going forward because that’s where he’ll cause the most damage.

    Having said that, he’s young and English so may get a bit more leniency?

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