Wilfried Zaha was hailed as a wondered when United splashed out £15 million on him in January of this year. He was bought by Ferguson to add creativity to an increasingly conservative midfield and doubtless to learn from Giggs before it was too late.
Zaha had wowed fans at his former club Crystal Palace for the previous two seasons, adept at playing on either flank and scoring 14 goals and contributing countless assists. United fans were excited at the prospect of seeing one of the most exciting English talents in years strut his stuff alongside Rooney and Van Persie in a frightening frontline. Unfortunetaly none of this early optimism has ever been realised. Zaha was then loaned back to Palace for the remainder of last season and continued to perform well – winning the penalty to secure Palace’s place in the Premier League.
Although nobody expected him to be a regular starter at Old Trafford this season, most would have been surprised to see how little playing time he has been given. A number of factors may have contributed to this, as I have mentioned previously United have a jam-packed midfield as it is and Zaha may be finding it difficult to outshine many other more workmanlike players. There are also personal issues that have been widely reported, most notably on his relationship with Moyes’ daughter which led him to take to twitter this week to deny any relationship or even meeting her. I also feel that Zaha is something of a luxury player, he is undoubtedly widely talented but he will also have many games where he is ineffectual. I think Moyes is still looking to ease his way into Ferguson’s shoes and is being conservative wherever possible by picking the likes of Jones and Cleverley and playing Welbeck on the left wing.
Now surely the time has come to pick Zaha, United have lost two home games on the bounce and are languishing in 9th place in the Premier League – what more has Moyes got to lose. It’s got to be more positive than selecting Cleverley and Jones alongside Carrick! However, according to many reports over the last few days, Moyes is going to do exactly the opposite. It is rumoured that he will let Zaha go out on loan in January to gain more first team experience before blooding him in the United first team next season – Cardiff among others are rumoured to have taken an interest.
So it appears that Moyes is going to continue on his conservative path. If Zaha is loaned out in January then United need to seriously invest in a top quality creative midfielder or they risk being out of the race for the top four let alone the title!