Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish: Manchester United damaged Wilfried Zaha’s development

by Ben Topliss

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish believes Wilfried Zaha’s development was damaged by his unsuccessful time at Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson made Zaha his final ever signing at Man United but the Scot had retired by the time the 22-year-old arrived.

Under David Moyes, Zaha rarely featured in the first-team and a loan move back to Palace was eventually made permanent on the final day of the winter transfer window.

Parish insisted there is no bad feeling between Palace and United but admitted Zaha’s confidence had been shot by the poor spell.

Speaking about Zaha, Parish said: ”It did not work for him up there and we came to a good arrangement with Manchester United.

“He’s a great lad, and I would not say it has damaged him, but that experience of him going there and it not working out set him back a little bit. I don’t know what happened up there, but it is certainly not all one-sided.

“There was a change of management just as he went there, Sir Alex bought him and he was not there when he arrived.There’s been a bit of a maelstrom there over the past couple of years with the transition of the squad they had and Wilf got caught up in that a bit.

“There was no malice [from United] and they think he is a good player.”

Zaha arrived at the club with a reputation as one of England’s most promising young talents but it never quite worked out for him at Old Trafford.

Unfortunately, his raw talent could not quite be refined by United’s coaches. His lack of ball retention, in particular, was frustrating for fans. He also wasn’t helped by the timing of his arrival as United went through a turbulent time under the bumbling David Moyes.

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