Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway and former mentor of England starlet Wilfried Zaha who arrived at Manchester United this summer, believes Zaha needs to figure out what he needs to do to get David Moyes to pick him.
The 20-year-old attacker, who signed in January but finished out the season on loan with the Eagles last term, arrived at Old Trafford this summer following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson after 26 years in charge.
The England international became the Scot’s last ever signing for United who were crowned champions for the 20th time last season. Ferguson had, by all accounts, gone to considerable lengths to sign Zaha from Palace in January, convincing the teenager then that his future should be at Old Trafford.
The potential and talent in the winger was abundantly obvious to Ferguson last term – Zaha scored 8 goals and made 12 assists across 50 appearances in all competitions for the Eagles, helping them to gain promotion to the Premier League.
Ferguson clearly saw the potential in Zaha, as Holloway has always maintained but, as yet, David Moyes has yet to place his faith in the youngster who has played just 60 minutes of football so far this season in the Community Shield win over Wigan – he has been selected for the bench for two fixtures and excluded entirely for six.
"He has to learn what his new manager wants him to do to get picked and he is obviously not doing it," said Holloway.
"He is a fantastic lad but he has got a lot to learn.”
It had been suggested earlier this summer that Zaha might remain on loan under Holloway’s mentorship at Selhurst Park this season but it soon became apparent that he would continue his development at Old Trafford but, for a player of his immense potential and youth, he needs to be playing regular games at a level that will challenge him.
Holloway seems to think Zaha is not ‘doing’ enough to earn his place which may be the case – perhaps his response to training with the champions has not been quite impressive enough for Moyes’ high standards but whatever it is Moyes wants him to being ‘doing’, Holloway too seems none the wiser.
The one thing Holloway, Moyes and Zaha could all likely agree on is that he needs to ‘learn’ but, as Holloway states, he got a lot of learning to do to meet his potential – it’s just hard to see him learning much from sitting on the bench.
image: © Tom Brogan