The Crystal Palace boss believes the 20-year-old winger can become an Old Trafford great after joining the Premier League champions from Selhurst Park this summerEXCLUSIVE
By Danny Carlton
Wilfried Zaha has the potential to become a Manchester United legend, according to his former boss at Crystal Palace, Ian Holloway.
The winger, who signed for the Premier League champions in January, helped secure promotion for Holloway's side while finishing last season on loan at Selhurst Park, and the Eagles boss has no doubts that the 20-year-old can become an Old Trafford great.
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"Had he not been with us last season I don't think we would have made it into the Premier League. He has that bit extra that makes all the difference. He's one of those rare players who changes games."
Holloway agreed to sell Zaha to United in the January transfer window for a £10 million fee plus £5m in add-ons.
The former Blackpool manager feels that the youngster will benefit from playing alongside United's experienced stars, and admitted that he will be keeping a close eye on his development with the Premier League champions.
He said: "I was intrigued in the Community Shield when he tried to play a clever back heel which didn't work. The first player over to him was Ryan Giggs clearly saying: 'Don't do that again, son'.
"That's how it always used to be in the old days and it was brilliant, senior players taking the younger players in hand and looking after them - with that sort of attention Wilf is going to grow fast.
"The kid was a joy to work with and I would also say he was one of the nicest young men I've known.
"I'll be watching his development with great interest. I know the boy has all it takes to be a United legend."
This term will be Holloway's second stab at Premier League survival after being relegated with Blackpool on the final day of the 2010-11 campaign at Old Trafford, but the Palace boss believes his current side can push for a top 10 finish after gaining promotion via the play-offs.
"West Ham did it last season and they finished 10th - there's no reason why we can't do as well as them," he added.
"I have given a very long list of names to the chairman, Steve Parish, and he's working hard on bringing players in. I expect that to go on right to the last minute on deadline day."