Wilfried Zaha Manchester UnitedGetty

Rio Ferdinand explains why Crystal Palace’s Zaha flopped at Manchester United

Rio Ferdinand revealed that timing was the key reason why Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha could not establish himself at Manchester United.

Zaha - Sir Alex Ferguson’s last signing before his retirement - joined the Red Devils from Selhurst Park in January 2013 and made just two first-team appearances before teaming up with Cardiff City on loan.

He later rejoined the south London outfit in August 2014 in another temporary spell from Old Trafford before sealing a permanent move in February 2015.

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And Ferdinand who was at Old Trafford with the 24-year-old stated that immaturity, among other factors, accounted for his underwhelming Manchester United career.

"I think with a lot of transfers, it comes timing. That determines whether it’s a go-er or a failure,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

"I think he was young, inexperienced, needed time to mature, and I don’t think he was probably given enough opportunities.

"David Moyes was under a lot of pressure at the time, and he didn’t see him as one of his go-to guys.

"So I think timing was a key factor I think."

The Cote d'Ivoire international has been a prominent figure in the Eagles' setup with four goals in 12 Premier League games this term, and the former England international has lauded his abilities and believes that he can still prove himself in another big club.

"I think if he had his time again he’d maybe do a few things differently but what I would say, in terms of natural ability, raw ability, he’d be up there," he continued.

"This kid, if you said to him I want you to play against a full-back, stand him up and beat him one-on-one, he’d be one of my first picks in the league because he’s got that ability, he can move anybody.

"But then it was about developing the end product, your assists, your decision-making in the final third, positions to take up to receive the ball, they were things he needed to learn.

"And I think he’s on the right path now learning that and he’s doing it the environment way, he’s ultra confident, he’s comfortable, back at Crystal Palace.

"He’s someone that I think will get another move and we’ll see a different ending to the one we saw at Manchester United," he concluded.