Coach claims it would be a mistake for Manchester United to let this youngster go

Wilfried Zaha playing for Crystal Palace

Bolton manager Dougie Freedman insists it would be a mistake for Manchester United to let Wilfried Zaha leave Old Trafford this summer.

The 21-year-old winger was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever signing for Manchester United, in January 2013 before his retirement after 26 years in charge of the Red Devils.

The Scot sent the youngster out on loan back to Crystal Palace from whom he had signed but upon the arrival of David Moyes as Ferguson’s successor, the England youngster’s future at the club became the subject of speculation.

“It is difficult for young players when you are moving home for the first time and difficult to try and settle in. The expectation levels are also a lot higher with a club like United. But he is a talented boy, Sir Alex saw that and paid a lot of money for him,” explained Dougie Freedman.

"That talent doesn't leave you. Temporarily it can leave you during spells in your career. But I am pretty sure he will bounce back for United."

Zaha has so far made just two competitive appearances for the Red Devils in the 20 months since he signed for United – Moyes sent him out on loan to Cardiff last season where he made 10 appearances under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer without scoring a goal and, as yet, has not scored a Premier League goal at all.

Wilfried Zaha was one of the most exciting players in the Championship with Palace but failed to make the step up to the top level in the English Premier League.

He has earned two caps at senior level for England but was not included in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup in Brazil, given his lack of playing time at club level last term.

"There would be many Premier League takers for Wilfried,” continued Freedman who ruled out any interest in the player from Bolton.

"However, I spoke to him when he was on tour and he is working very hard to get into the new manager's plans.”

Louis van Gaal’s arrival at Old Trafford could see the winger given one more chance to prove his worth at Old Trafford, although some would argue he has never been given a genuine chance thus far.

However, the Dutch coach will be under pressure to turn the fortunes around at Old Trafford and I suspect he’ll be assessing the squad, especially the fringe players, on their ability to help the team do that and Zaha has yet to prove himself in the Premier League.

The good news, however, for the player is that the Netherlands boss has a well-documented and proud record of placing his trust in the youth and, if there is a manager who might be willing to give the youngster the benefit of the doubt, it would be the new Red Devils’ boss.

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