Today we celebrate the 28th birthday of Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast star Wilfried Zaha by taking a brief look back on his career story.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s last transfer as Manchester United manager was to sign Zaha from Crystal Palace in January 2013.
The winger quickly advanced in the Palace youth set-up and was already a proven performer in the Championship when he caught Fergie’s eye. The Scot’s retirement that year, however, was an unfortunate setback.
Once Zaha formally joined United in the summer of 2013, he struggled to win over new manager David Moyes. Loan moves to Cardiff City and Palace followed before he re-joined the latter on a permanent €3.80m deal in 2015.
The 28-year-old has since rebuilt his career at Selhurst Park, establishing a reputation as one of the Premier League’s most consistent performers. His displays have even alerted interest from across Europe. Paris Saint-Germain, for one, have been frequently tipped to make a move in recent years.
“I think he’s sensational,” Liverpool legend Graeme Souness once said on Sky Sports in 2018.
“I can see him playing for Real Madrid, that’s how good he is. I think there’s maybe a handful of players who have got the change of direction and balance that he does, and I think he should get more penalties, he isn’t a diver.
“I think he’s got a unique talent and with the utmost respect to Crystal Palace – and maybe he’s been scarred by the experience at Manchester United – he’s ready for a big, big club, the biggest clubs.”
Everyone here on Ace Football wishes Wilfried a happy 28th birthday and all the best for the upcoming year.
Here are some of the best tributes on Twitter today.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) November 10, 2020
Happy 28th birthday to @wilfriedzaha!
— PalaceEagles (@PalaceEaglesc0m) November 10, 2020
— moir (@cpfc_moir) November 10, 2020
— Mark Williams (@MWmagic) November 10, 2020