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Wilfried Zaha has been 'damaged' by Manchester United

Alan Pardew believes the winger is still short of confidence after an unsuccesful period at Old Trafford.

Zaha returned to Palace following an unsuccessful spell at Old Trafford.
Zaha returned to Palace following an unsuccessful spell at Old Trafford.

CRYSTAL PALACE MANAGER Alan Pardew believes Wilfried Zaha has been “damaged” following his time at Manchester United.

The 22-year-old was Alex Ferguson’s final signing as United manager but barely featured under David Moyes, making just three first-team appearances before being sent out on loan to Cardiff City.

Zaha rejoined Palace at the start of the campaign, initially on loan before making the move permanent in February, but Pardew feels the player is still suffering from a lack of confidence after his Old Trafford spell.

“There are two things with him; firstly, I don’t see him smiling enough and secondly, he takes everything like a massive disappointment. Now that’s a player who has been damaged,” Pardew told reportres.

“What I mean by that is if he doesn’t get a pass, he can have a little sulk — not for long, just for a couple of seconds, but that’s enough in the Premier League for something to happen.

“And he does it in training too. I’m saying this publicly because I think it’s important that he understands that he needs to get rid of it.

“He played with a little bit more of a smile on his face and when you do that you can show a bit of exuberance and try things.

“I think the Man United thing came too early for a young player who, let’s be honest, didn’t get enough of an opportunity there. He needs to get rid of it now and move on and build his career again.”

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