It’s being reported in this morning’s Sunday People, that new Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal is happy to sell the former Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha for £7 million, just 18 months after the England international arrived at Old Trafford.
In a decision similar to that involving Marouane Fellaini, the People claim that Van Gaal doesn’t feel Zaha has the quality required to flourish with the Reds and is therefore happy to let him leave, thus freeing up more room for new recruits.
The piece itself suggests that Newcastle are at the head of the queue for Zaha’s signature, with Alan Pardew thought to be a keen admirer of the midfielder, but should that price be an accurate representation of the fee United would be willing to accept, you would assume that we too would show serious interest in bringing him back to SE25.
With the original sum of £15 million still having some way to go before it is paid in full, there is likely to be some room for negotiation over the structure of any deal that could see Zaha return, which after Steve Parish’s recent comments, is undoubtedly something that he and the manager have discussed.
There has been a great deal of debate in recent weeks over whether or not Zaha would still pose the same threat that he did before leaving the club in 2013, but with players of Wilf’s ilk, it’s always worth remembering how big a role confidence plays in their overall performance.
When he left Selhurst Park, he was on top of the world, ready to prove to any doubters that he had what it took to succeed at the very highest level, but thanks to a number of factors, chief amongst them David Moyes’ reluctance to allow him the freedom of expression that comes with a run of first-team starts, his game has gone backwards in dramatic fashion.
As soon as anyone is able to make Zaha feel comfortable in his own skin again, they will have a player on their hands, capable of producing moments of sheer magic once more. It’s not rocket science, simply a case of showing a modicum of faith in him, rather than stifling the natural spark which makes his game so unique.
We’ve all seen what Wilf can do, and should he return, I am in no doubt that we’ll see it again. He has never been the finished article, but we’ve always had a penchant for a rough diamond at Selhurst Park. Having been with him throughout the initial steps of his time as a professional, it would be nice to have the chance to finish the job off in style.