Manchester United-owned Wilfried Zaha has spoken to The Sun of the competition he faced from Adnan Januzaj last season.
England international winger Zaha was part of David Moyes’s set-up at United at the start of the 2013-14 season.
A lot was expected of the 22-year-old at Old Trafford, but the youngster failed to do much of note in the first half of last season.
Zaha made just four competitive appearances for United before being loaned out to Cardiff City in the January transfer window.
Currently on loan at Crystal Palace, the Englishman has now revealed that one of the reasons he had to leave United temporarily last season was because of the presence of fellow youngster Januzaj.
“I played a bit but I never played in my position, so obviously I wasn’t doing as well as I could do,” Zaha told The Sun. “If you’re not playing, you’re not happy.
“Sitting at home and watching the team play constantly, you feel like you could do something to help. I understood that United weren’t doing well and you’re not going to chuck in a young player at the same time.
“It was probably either Adnan or me at the time. I think I could have done it. But it was the manager’s choice.”
Moyes, who was sacked by United in April last year, persevered with Januzaj, who had a very good campaign on a personal level.
The 19-year-old, who can play as a winger as well as an attacking midfielder, scored four goals and created 31 chances in 27 Premier League appearances, while having a pass accuracy of 82% and winning 53% of the duels.
Januzaj enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2013-14 and repaid Moyes’s faith in him. Meanwhile, Zaha could not prevent Cardiff from suffering relegation from the Premier League and was not included in Louis van Gaal’s plans for this campaign.
It is evident that, rightly or wrongly, Zaha has not been given the chances at United that he has longed for. Perhaps what Sir Alex Ferguson saw in him was not enough for Moyes or Van Gaal.
Now at Palace, Zaha is showing the kind of form that caught the eye of United in 2013. Perhaps he does not have a long-term future at United, but the England international certainly has a bright future elsewhere.