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Arsenal’s loss is Manchester United’s gain

by Tom Parker

“When Steve Parish sold Zaha I was mildly involved in it as I tried to get Arsenal to buy him, but they were not interested.” Ron Noades

Manchester United new boy Wilfried Zaha was not the subject from a bid from Arsenal according to former Crystal Palace chairman Ron Noades, despite attempts to tempt the Gunners into making a bid for him..

During the January transfer window, reports were awash that United and Arsenal were both extremely interested in the 20-year-old with many tabloids reporting a ‘bidding war’ between the Premier League heavyweights.

Speaking to Express Online, Noades said: “When Steve Parish sold Zaha I was mildly involved in it as I tried to get Arsenal to buy him, but they were not interested.

“I spoke to David Dein as I did not want Zaha to go to Manchester United, I wanted him to stay in London.

“I just thought he was an exciting talent.”

With Zaha being a self-confessed Arsenal fan, many were a little surprised to see the youngster move to United in a £10 million deal.

Zaha was critical in Palace’s successful promotion push, and despite a mid-season dry spell, blamed on the speculation which preceded the deal leading to him becoming something of a marked man, Zaha’s six goals and ten assists in 43 appearances were pivotal in attaining a play-off place.

Interestingly, the forward appeared to save his best form for the play-offs and with top scorer Glen Murray missing through injury in the semi-finals, it was the man affectionately known as Wilf who stepped up to the plate, putting rivals Brighton to the sword with a fine brace sending the Eagles to Wembley.

And on the biggest occasion in the play-off final at Wembley, on his final appearance for the club, Zaha won the match-clinching penalty in extra-time with his trickery too much for a weary Marco Cassetti.

Expectation is high ahead of his debut season for United with the U21 international hooking up with David Moyes and co. in just a matter of weeks.

The summit of the Premier League will be poles apart from the second tier but there is little doubt over the talent Zaha has at its feet and after a dreadful showing from United’s wingers last season, it is hoped the Ivorian-born winger will be a breath of fresh air.

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