Wilfried Zaha was finally given his first opportunity in a competitive game for Manchester United tonight by David Moyes with a start against Norwich City.
All eyes were on the 20-year-old. Everybody had waited to see him in action after such an impressive pre-season and he knew he had to replicate Adnan Januzaj and take his opportunity when it was given to him. He didn’t disappoint.
Every time Zaha had the ball at his feet, he ran at the defender and more or less every time, he got past his man with ease.
His feet really were lightning quick and not only did he beat his man, he fired in some fantastic crosses too that created some real chances for United. In comparison, Ashley Young‘s crosses left a lot to be desired.
One reason why many felt that Zaha may have been kept out for so long was because of his decision making but against Norwich, he impressed in that regard too. There were a couple of occasions where he could have turned back to find a simple pass but not enough to look at it as a negative on his performance.
As well as some good play going forward, Zaha tracked back and Moyes will have been pleased with that. He likes his wingers to put in their shift defensively too and he showed that he was capable of that too.
Zaha waited patiently for his opportunity tonight against Norwich and Moyes will have been impressed by his performance. He wasn’t as involved as he would have liked him to be but that is because a lot of United’s forward play moved down the left wing instead.
He did tire towards the end of the second half due to a lack of match fitness but on the whole, he put in a very good performance.
Maybe Zaha could start against Fulham where United are favourites (work out your odds for an accumulator here). Maybe, but probably not. However, after that performance, Zaha deserves some time in the Premier League ahead of the likes of Young and Valencia.
He is still so very raw and that much is obvious when you watch him play but Moyes have been pleased to see that Zaha didn’t crumble under the pressure. All he needs now is more game time to build on the confidence he would have got from tonight.