Sir Alex Ferguson’s last signing as Manchester United boss, has revealed what it felt like to play for the Premier League side. Wilfred Zaha moved from Crystal Palace to Old Trafford in a £15 million deal in January 2013 and only got to feature under then-new boss David Moyes.
Speaking to Shortlist, Zaha said; “It’s hard to take. Obviously, getting to United isn’t easy, so not being given a chance is hard to take.
“I don’t regret anything because it made me stronger. I feel as though I can deal with anything now. I went through so much with United, with England.
There were rumours that the reason I wasn’t playing [many games] for United was because I slept with [then manager] David Moyes’s daughter, and no one [at the club] attempted to clear that up.
“So I was fighting my demons by myself, these rumours that I knew weren’t true. I was dealing with this at 19; living in Manchester by myself, nowhere near anyone else, because the club had a hold over where I lived.”
They hadn’t given me a car, like every other player [had]. Nothing. I’m living in this hell by myself, away from my family, and I thought, “If this doesn’t make me stronger, what will?”
The pacy winger also opened up on life as a footballer as he said people forget footballers are humans because they have money.
“I explain this to my friends all the time,” he continued. ” When I was at United I had [money], but I was still so down and depressed. People think your life’s different because you’ve got money, you’ve got fame, so they don’t treat you the same.”
In 2016, Zaha decided to play for Ivory Coast over England even though he had wanted to play for the three lions.
He added: “I did want to play with England because I’ve been here since the age of four, but it reached a point where I thought, ‘What am I waiting for? I want an international career, am I really going to get an opportunity [with England]?’
“The Ivory Coast had been begging for ages. The country and the fans love me already, and I haven’t even done anything.
“I may not get the red carpet, it may not have the same Nike deals as when you play for England, but I’m going to be playing, I’m going to be loved, and that’s all I want. Nothing else.
“So when I watched the World Cup I was annoyed, yeah, because we could have been there.”
Zaha already has three goals for Crystal Palace this season and will be in action this weekend when Palace plays host to Newcastle.