Wilfried Zaha made an appearance from the bench tonight for Manchester United’s Under-21s against Middlesbrough and for United fans, it was another chance to see his flair on show.
He is an unbelievably direct winger and ran straight at Middlesbrough’s defence confident in his own ability to beat his man. More often than not, he managed to work a cross into the box. Given how tentative our wingers have been in the first team, it was refreshing to see someone play with that sort of style.
However, as has been the case with Zaha in previous performances, he was guilty of overcomplicating the situation on occasion with one too many tricks. It was a performance that typified how much of a rough diamond he is.
For me, the fact that Zaha didn’t play the full 90 minutes tonight surely suggests David Moyes wanted to keep him fresh for the Capital One Cup semi-final against Sunderland on Wednesday. Either that or Moyes wanted to make sure he avoided injury so he could be sent out on loan, but I’m hoping for the former.
Zaha just needs some game time to flourish. He’s like a jack-in-the-box every time he plays because he is so desperate to impress but when Moyes allows him to have a run of games, he won’t feel the need to dazzle at every opportunity and we should see the real Zaha, the player who spearheaded Crystal Palace’s promotion to the Premier League.