Should United consider Wilfried Zaha as an emergency option?
Manchester United’s chances of signing Jadon Sancho look more unlikely as every day goes past.
There is still hope, but BBC Sport reported earlier this week that Borussia Dortmund are confident of keeping him.
While United will keep up the pursuit as long as possible, there will have to be a situation where the club consider alternatives.
One viable option could be to bring back former United winger Wilfried Zaha.
The Sun reported this week that Zaha recently changed agents and hopes to land a big move.
Crystal Palace have reportedly set a £45 million transfer fee on the winger, which is putting clubs off.
Compared to Sancho, this is a snip, and United could land him for a discount.
The MEN report United are entitled to 20 per cent of a sell-on fee of any price Palace land for Zaha.
United could effectively use this to get the same amount of money off the £45 million Palace are reportedly demanding, making a deal do-able for just £36 million.
Is he good enough?
One of the criticisms of Zaha is that he does not score enough goals. Last season for Palace he netted only four league goals.
He did score on the opening day of this season for the Eagles, but there is a worry he has stayed too long in his comfort zone, and needs a new challenge.
Playing at a bigger club with better players, Zaha should become more productive.
He is an upgrade on youngster Dan James, who was over-exposed last season, and he already has experience playing on the same flank as right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, which could help both players.
Zaha’s first spell at United was doomed from the very start after the manager who signed him, Sir Alex Ferguson, retired before he joined.
David Moyes did not take a liking to Zaha and he lost confidence and momentum.
Zaha should be determined to make the most of a second chance if he gets one. At 28, his next move is his last big chance.
His age may make United hesitate. But his former United connection could yet influence a deal. He is three years younger than Gareth Bale, and without the injury history.
It should be noted that Zaha has played under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before, while at Cardiff.
Zaha was on loan from United, and Solskjaer made a very bold comparison with Ronaldo.
He told The Express in 2014: “I don’t really want to compare Wilfried with Cristiano, but he has quick feet like Cristiano, he is brave like Cristiano and wants to go forward.”
Zaha’s fancy footwork has helped him forge a strong career in the Premier League with Palace, and he gets to go up against United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
For the combination of talent and price, if United are forced to look elsewhere than Sancho, Zaha might end up becoming an option.
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