The story so far for Manchester United’s new signing Zaha

April 8th 2010 – Signs professional contract with Crystal Palace

After making his debut in a 2-1 defeat to Cardiff, Zaha signed a two year professional contract with Palace.

Youth boss David Moss said: “Since I have been here the quality of young players that have emerged from this academy has been nothing short of astounding and this next crop are no different.”

August 7th 2010 – First goal

In his first full debut, Zaha scored the opening goal for Palace in their 3-2 win over Leicester after 19 minutes.

“Wilfried Zaha is a cracking prospect and we will give him the opportunity to keep on developing and he will be a big talent,” said manager George Burley.

October 12th 2010 – Contract negotiations

Just six months after signing a two year contract, Palace open negotiations with Zaha to extend that deal.

October 21st 2010 – Praise from the manager

“Wilfried Zaha is a real talent,” said Burley. “At times he is virtually unplayable. He has got attributes that not many players have these days in that he can take on and beat his man. I was a full-back when I was a player and I certainly wouldn’t have fancied marking him. It’s sometimes hard to believe that he is just 17.”

November 8th 2010 – Contract extended

Zaha signed a three year extension on his curren deal which was set to expire in 2015.

“I am delighted to be signing this deal and it is just another highlight of my first season as a first-team player,” Zaha said. “This has all happened so quickly as I have gone from playing in the academy to then signing this new contract. It is a dream come true. Me and my family are all based in Croydon and it’s great to be part our local club and getting games in the Championship at my age.”

March 18th 2011 – Linked with Liverpool

Reports suggested that Kenny Dalglish was keen to bring Zaha to Liverpool, but Palace ruled out any chance of that happening.

December 19th 2011 – Another contract extension

Zaha signed another contract extension with the club which was set to expire in 2017.

“I am delighted that Wilfried has extended his contract with the club,” said manager Dougie Freedman. “At lot of hard work has seen him develop extremely well over the last year and I look forward to seeing him progress even further in a Crystal Palace shirt.”

December 21st 2011 – Linked with Newcastle

After reports linked Zaha with a move to Newcastle, the manager claimed the North East club weren’t good enough for him.

“Wilfried is better than a Newcastle,” said Freedman. “I know the chairman won’t accept four, five or six million pounds and that rules out a lot of clubs.”

January 27th 2012 – Bolton make official approach

“I think there’s players out there, and Zaha is certainly one of them, that I think would enhance our club for years to come on a permanent basis, and there are one or two on a loan capacity I’d love to bring in before the deadline on Tuesday,” said Bolton manager Owen Coyle. “It is documented now that we have made an offer, which we have. I don’t think it is to the value that the Crystal Palace chairman (wants), but it is an offer we felt was fair for where a very talented young player is at the moment. I always put what I think is a fair value on a player and if we get to it, great. If we don’t, then we have to accept that we are not going to pay what we would believe would be over the odds. But he is such a talented young player and he will get better – there is scope for improvement. He has got pace and unbelievable quality and natural attributes. We would love for that to come to fruition, but at the moment it looks as if we are a way apart in terms of valuation.”

February 23rd 2012 – First England U21 call up

At 19-years-old, Zaha was called up to the England Under-21s squad for their Euro 2013 Qualifier against Belgium.

March 11th 2012 – Young Player of the Year

Zaha was named the Championship Young Player of the Year.

November 12th 2012 – Drogba gets in touch

Zaha was born in the Ivory Coast which means that he would be available to play for them at International level. Didier Drogba made contact with Zaha to try and convince him to play for the Ivory Coast.

January 25th 2013 – Signs for Manchester United

Zaha agreed a deal to join Manchester United in the summer and will spend the rest of the season at Palace.

“As we like to do, we sign young players with potential,” said Sir Alex Ferguson. “We can also develop players well here. That’s proved to be the case many times. Hopefully the boy will enjoy it coming here when he eventually does join us in the summer.”

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