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Wilfried Zaha claims he was 'set up to fail' at Man Utd ahead of Galatasaray return

Wilfried Zaha claims he was 'set up to fail' at Man Utd ahead of Galatasaray return

Zaha admitted he was set up to fail at Man Utd.

Wilfried Zaha claimed he had been “set up to fail” at Manchester United in a throwback interview.

The Ivory Coast international is set to return to Old Trafford on Tuesday evening for Galatasaray’s Group A Champions League encounter against United.

Zaha is in line to make his first Champions League start against a club where he endured a dismal season-and-a-half spell between 2013 and 2015.

The 30-year-old was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever United signing in January 2013, and at the time, tipped to become a global superstar after propelling Crystal Palace to an unlikely Premier League promotion.

However upon his arrival at Old Trafford in the summer of 2013, after a loan arrangement for him to see out the 2012-13 campaign at Palace, Zaha failed to impress David Moyes, United’s new manager upon the retirement of Ferguson.

Moyes watched Zaha for an hour in the Community Shield against Wigan Athletic, and unimpressed, removed him from the team. The then-20-year-old did not play for United again for almost three months, until a Carabao Cup tie against Norwich on October 29.

Meanwhile, his only two Premier League appearances for United came as a substitute on successive weekends that December, totalling 28 minutes. After an unsuccessful short-term loan to Cardiff, the winger ultimately returned to Palace on an initial loan, with the move becoming permanent at the end of the 2014-15 season.

Speaking to Total Media's On The Judy podcast in 2021 Zaha explained why he struggled during his ill-fated spell at Old Trafford.

He explained: "I went back to United [after a loan to Cardiff], it was van Gaal by then. And when he came back off the World Cup where he played Robin van Persie and [Arjen] Robben up front, so basically he gave me two options: You're either a wing-back or a striker.

"Those positions are positions I've never played before. So it's like I'm being set up to fail here.

“This is off of coming back from David Moyes, and I'm shattered from just how everything worked out. I go back and I get that, either a striker or a wingback. I can't do either."

Zaha also touched on his mental struggles after finding it difficult to settle in at Old Trafford.

He said: "I was in a very bad place. Literally go out all the time, doing mad stuff. I was a mess. When you know you're not playing, the team are training and you're just standing on the side doing some training drill.

"I remember it was just me and Kagawa doing some shooting drill just the two of us. So you know they don't care about you basically. Not even training with the Under 23s, week in week out. You're not getting a look in."

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Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Football, Crystal Palace, Wilfried Zaha, Galatasaray, Manchester United, David Moyes