Why Wilfried Zaha should be given first team football at Manchester United
After defeat at the hands of Yokohama F. Marinos and a 2-2 draw versus Cerezo Osaka, it’s fair to say Manchester United supporters currently do not have a lot to make noise about.
However, the fans will take huge pleasure in seeing ex-Crystal Palace and England Under 21 winger, Wilfried Zaha, excel in recent matches. This is probably the only positive to have emerged from the Red Devil’s first set of matches.
The winger has already netted his first goal for the Reds. This came in injury time to earn a 2-2 draw with Shinji Kagawa’s former club Cerezo Osaka.
“It felt great,” Zaha enthused to MUTV. “The goal has been coming for the last couple of games and I’m happy I finally managed to get it.
“It’s all about the gaffer really as he’s given me chances to prove myself and play with the likes of Rio, Giggsy, van Persie and Welbz. I’ve enjoyed it and it’s a great chance to meet everyone and bond with the team. They have made me feel at home. Everyone encourages me and supports me so it’s cool – I feel like a Manchester United player.
It’s great to see the young Englishmen given a chance in the first team. With David Moyes as manager I think this is something that most people expected to happen.
After coming off the bench to great effect in this fixture, it’s fair to say he is pressing home his claims for a starting spot in the new coaches’ line-up for the start of the season.
Zaha’s recent run of first team appearances will give him the confidence heading into the beginning of the Premier League campaign, as well as a chance to bond and gain experience alongside his new teammates.
Whether or not he can hold down a starting spot week-in and week-out is yet to be seen. However, it’s fair to say, the club’s longer serving wingers (Ashley Young, Luis Nani and Antonio Valencia) haven’t put in any inspirational performances of late.
The stage is set for Zaha to cement a starting berth in the first team, and if he plays his cards right, this is certainly something that is likely to happen.
Last season, the 20 year old was awarded Championship Player of the Year as he helped Palace secure a return to the Premier League.
At times during this campaign he won games single-handedly for the club, as he accumulated eight goals and nine assists in 46 appearances.
Now he will be looking to make an impression for his new club as he makes the step up from the NPower Championship to top flight (and European) football. It will be a tough transition for Zaha but he seems to thrive under the limelight and the pressure that it brings.
During Palace’s play-off fixtures he really showed his quality and ability to perform. Despite criticism, following a stagnation of form during the second half of the season. He re-emerged as the fantastic talent that everyone had once known, firing the Eagles into the final.
I don’t expect Zaha to score many league goals this season, but I think he’ll become an important figure on the wing for United. Especially if he’s given the playing time that he requires.
He has all the attributes needed to become a top Premier League player and this will become clear as he matures and gains important experience alongside some of the Premier League greats.
The upcoming campaign is an important season for Zaha in terms of developing as a player and he will go from strength-to-strength as he gets games under his belt.
Keep your eyes peeled for this one, I think he’ll be a fantastic player for Manchester United in the years to come!
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