It’s that time of the season again when Wilfried Zaha is linked for a move away from Crystal Palace. Indeed, despite having signed a new contract in August, the winger’s blistering work to keep the Eagles far away from the relegation battle’s impressed many clubs.
Among those are his former employers. Interestingly, Manchester United have their eyes on Zaha and according to reports from the Sun, they are aiming to sign him back after letting him leave far too early into his United career. While this is a golden opportunity for the Ivory Coast international to prove himself at the height of British football, it’s also one with real consequences.
Right now, Zaha looks very comfortable at Palace, as he had done before his move up north initially. In Croydon, he has the freedom to roam wherever he wants, experiment with his runs, dribble past opponents and be their attacking lynchpin. The pressure is quite minimal, allowing him to score 8 goals this season.
However, he won’t be so free of pressure at United.
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now installed as their permanent manager, there will be a cut-throat competition for places. Even if he arrives as their star signing, Zaha, who is valued at £31.5 million (by Transfermarkt), will be under pressure to deliver every game or be benched, especially considering his past at Old Trafford. He’ll need to grow a thicker skin, score more goals and be extremely consistent.
If past years have proven anything, burdening him with expectations could create problems.
At this stage of his career, he doesn’t need a major move to Manchester United. Largely known as one of the best players outside of the top six in the Premier League, everything goes through him at Crystal Palace, allowing him to flourish.
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