When Manchester United snapped up Wilfried Zaha in January 2013 they did so from under the nose of several other interested parties. Arsenal were keen, as were Chelsea, but it was the lure of playing under Sir Alex Ferguson which convinced Zaha to sign for United on a deal that could be worth up to £15 million.
But his time at Old Trafford has been largely disappointing. Sir Alex retired, David Moyes taking over - and he was not a fan of the young winger - giving him precious few opportunities to shine in the first team. Then there were the rumours of a relationship between Zaha and Moyes' daughter - which would not have helped matters.
In the end he was loaned out to Cardiff City, where he disappointed on the football pitch, struggling to help as The Bluebirds were relegated from the top-flight.
Next season then is pivotal for the 21-year-old. If he can't break into the United team now Moyes is gone, what hope is there for his Manchester career.
His former club Crystal Palace are hoping he is let out once again by United this summer. The Eagles chairman Steve Parrish has spoken about Zaha - suggesting the club would bring him back this summer if that became an option:
“It depends on what the new Man United manager wants but also what my manager wants. My manager has got to be convinced that it would be the right move for the player and the club.
"Maybe they don’t want Wilfried, I don’t know. My wish for Wilfried is that the new manager comes in and he’s a sensation at Man United. If he’s sold then I will sit down with our manager and see what our manager thinks.
"Tony has certainly shown enthusiasm during the season for that and knows what a fabulous player he is. But the circumstances for the player and the money and for everything would have to be right.”
Louis van Gaal will start work at United the moment the World Cup is over for Holland and the future of Zaha will be an immediate concern. Talented, but hard to tame, he does however have all the hallmarks of a Van Gaal player.
Young, creative and hungry - there is no doubt the new United boss has a difficult decision to make regarding the £15 million starlet.
But Palace are waiting in the wings should LvG decide to part ways with the winger.