Wilfried Zaha Says Manchester United Tried To 'Break Him'

Wilfried Zaha got his big break at Manchester United but then never managed to break into the first team before returning to Crystal Palace. Now he's revealed the whole experience at Old Trafford left him broken.

During the 2012/13 season Wilfried Zaha became Sir Alex Ferguson's final ever Manchester United signing, although the winger stayed at Crystal Palace for the rest of that season.

However the young winger would never actually be managed by Fergie. By the time Zaha arrived at Old Trafford the legendary manager had decided to call it a day, retired from management and handed over to David Moyes.

The new manager obviously didn't see as much in the youngster as his predecessor and he'd been loaned out to Cardiff City, managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, by the end of the January transfer window.

His time at United didn't last much longer and after rejoining Crystal Palace on loan for a year he completed his permanent transfer back just two years after joining United.

The Ivory Coast international has since built his reputation back up at Palace and is once again being linked to a big move. Speaking to the Daily Mail he explained how his life at United was.

Talking about being at the club he claimed David Moyes and the coaching staff tried to "break me in every way possible," and "destroy my career for no reason."

Zaha got very little playing time at Old Trafford. Image: PA Images
Zaha got very little playing time at Old Trafford. Image: PA Images

"The chance to play for Manchester United. It was beyond anything I could have hoped for and I treated it that way. I tried my hardest in every training session to show what I could do." Zaha said, "But when he took me out of the Champions League squad and put in Adnan Januzaj, who had never played for the first team, I knew then that this is way bigger than I ever thought and had gone way beyond footballing reasons. When it was not about football or ability, what could I do?"

Zaha has become Palace's most important player. Image: PA Images
Zaha has become Palace's most important player. Image: PA Images

Talking about his plight Zaha added, "Not being given a fair opportunity to play at all and being called a flop is what hurt me even more. How can I be if I wasn't given a fair chance?

"I see Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, these types of players, and dribbling wise I'm up there with them but they have been given the platform to perform."

Back at Palace the 26 year old has been given the platform to perform and his eight goals and three assists this season means that some continue to suggest he's the best player in England outside the top six.

It seems that at some point soon he'll be back in the big time and it could even be at Manchester United again. This time he'll definitely get more chances.

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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