Crystal Palace midfielder Wilfried Zaha has revealed that he felt worthless during his difficult time as a Manchester United player, reports the Telegraph.
The 22-year-old initially came to the attention of the Old Trafford hierarchy after a string of exciting performances at Selhurst Park, and he was snapped up for £15m in January 2013. His acquisition was the last to be signed off by legendary boss, Sir Alex Ferguson.
He remained a Palace player on loan until the end of the season, and helped the Eagles reach the Premier League via the Championship play-offs.
However, by the time he had arrived at his new club, Ferguson had retired, and David Moyes was in charge. Zaha would make just two substitute appearances in the top flight for the club. Very quickly, his career appeared to stagnate. The former England international was no longer discussed as a potential call-up candidate, and was ready to join a list of players that never delivered on early promise.
Zaha revealed that his unhappy time in Manchester made him question his future in the game.
“There is nothing worse than not being involved. You are sitting there thinking ‘what exactly am I? A footballer who is not playing football?’ You feel a bit worthless sitting in the stands, watching all the time,” he explained.
But at the start of this campaign, Zaha was offered a lifeline when he returned to Palace initially on loan. After rediscovering some form, he rejoined the club permanently in the last transfer window, and admitted that he is much happier now the United ordeal is over.
“The gaffer tells me to smile a bit more but I am just happy to play football,” he added.