Zaha says failed Man United spell helped build ‘character’

Wilfried Zaha says his failed spell at Manchester United helped build his ‘character’ as he prepares to face his former club this week.

Zaha will come up against Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, when Galatasaray visit Old Trafford in the group stage.


The Ivorian signed for the Red Devils as a teenager in 2013, but made just four appearances for the club. Zaha was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson, but David Moyes had taken charge of the club by the time of his arrival and the winger failed to convince the new manager or Moyes’ eventual successor, Louis van Gaal.

Zaha was twice sent on loan before returning to Crystal Palace on a permanent basis, for who he scored 68 goals in the Premier League before departing for Galatasaray on a free transfer last summer.

The 30-year-old now has the chance to compete in the Champions League against his old team, but says clashes with former club United feel ‘no different’ to any other game.

“I’ll be honest, when you look at my face do you think I am bothered at all? No,” Zaha said on his failure to earn a chance at Old Trafford.

“I went through a phase in my career, you either build from it or die. It built my character. I was determined not to let my career die out.

“It was just a normal league game,” he added on returning to face the Red Devils with Palace.

“I had my past here but I was 19 or 20. When I went back to Palace and had league games against them, it was just work. I felt no different.”

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