Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock says Wilfried Zaha only struggled at Manchester United because the club don’t spend enough time developing their up-and-coming talents.
Having starred for Palace for three seasons in the Championship, Zaha joined up with United last summer, after a £10 million move was arranged during the 2012-13 campaign under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The 21-year-old made just two league appearances during the first-half of 2013-14 with new boss David Moyes, however, before spending the rest of the campaign on loan at Cardiff City, where he again failed to impress in 11 games.
Now back with Palace after completing a season-long loan move last month, Warnock has criticised United’s handling of the promising forward, as well as their other prospects, despite Louis van Gaal arguing otherwise.
‘Wilfried has something to prove,' he told the Evening Standard. 'It will make such a difference that the fans are behind him. At Man United they don't seem to have time for the youngsters but he won't find that a problem here.’
Those comments come just 24 hours after Van Gaal insisted that the club is more than willing to give its fledglings a fair chance in the first-team, but the Dutchman also stressed that a place has to be earned.
'I am always willing to give players chances but they have to take them,’ he said. ‘I can't do that for them. The possibility is there and all the youngsters have to know that. Manchester United have come to me because of that.
'When you don't let go of players to other clubs then you never allow to give youth players a chance. Because of this policy, we will give youth players a chance.’
Having earned two England caps during his impressive 2012-13 season, Zaha no doubt possesses a great deal of potential and, while the United coaching staff have failed to get the best out of him thus far, a return to Selhurst Park could be just what’s needed to revitalise his career.