Wilfried Zaha was given his Crystal Palace debut in 2010 and he has been flying through the Championship club’s ranks ever since. At just 20 years old, the Ivory Coast native has appeared in 110 matches with 18 assists and 12 goals to his name. While these stats could hardly be considered out of the ordinary, it appears that Sir Alex Ferguson sees much more than what the winger’s resume sets out to prove.
Speculation suggests that a deal to bring Zaha to Manchester could be finalized as soon as tomorrow. The deal entails a 10m payment up front with the potential of up to 15m earned, depending on Zaha’s success and appearances with United. Zaha will be loaned immediately back to Crystal Palace. Currently sitting in the top 8, Zaha will aid Crystal Palace for the remainder of the season as they try at their chance for Premier League promotion.
With the addition of Zaha, Alex Ferguson adds yet another name to the array of wingers on Manchester United’s squad sheets. With names like Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia, Nani has seen very little to no pitch time as it is, playing in only 7 games and adding just 1 assist and 1 goal to his rep. Only 13.3 of Nani’s crosses have been successful, compared to Valencia and Young’s percentages of 19.2 and 17 respectively; statistics that show Nani is simply misfit.
With that said, there is absolutely no denying Nani’s raw talent. Although his inconsistency at United in past seasons has out shined his skill, he will without question resurface as the speedy winger Sporting Lisbon produced him to be; just not at Old Trafford.
The time for Nani to depart Manchester United has come. Although his contract does not expire until 2014, I see the addition of Zaha as the push out the door he needs, and I expect him to without question exit this summer. Reports say that Arsenal have allegedly expressed desire in signing the Portuguese winger, using their recent sale of Robin Van Persie as a bargaining chip.
While the transition to Arsenal style of play may be difficult for Nani, the ultimate result could be beautiful for all parties involved. Manchester United get their man in Zaha, Arsenal gain a quick footed winger with international quality and Nani is awarded the playing time he longs for. Win, win, win.