Zaha reveals how Van Gaal set him up to fail at Manchester United

Wilfried Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson’s final signing as Manchester United boss.

Ferguson signed Zaha from Crystal Palace in January 2013 with the winger spending the remainder of the season on loan with Palace before joining up with United in the summer.

When Zaha finally joined Manchester United at the end of the 2012/13 season, Ferguson had retired as Manchester United boss with David Moyes coming in to replace him.

Zaha left Manchester United on loan in the 2013/14 season and when he returned to the club, Moyes had been sacked and replaced by Louis van Gaal.

According to Zaha, Van Gaal set him up to fail at Manchester United after telling the winger to play either as a striker or a wing-back.

“I went back to United after that (the Cardiff loan while Moyes was United manager), and it was Louis van Gaal by then,” Zaha told the On The Judy podcast. “When he came, it was after the World Cup where he played Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben upfront.

“He gave me two options: you’re either a wing-back or a striker. Those positions I’d never played before. It was like I’m being set up to fail.

“This was after coming back from the David Moyes era and I was just shattered with how everything didn’t work out for me. Then I go back, I get ‘either you’re a striker or a wing-back’ – and I couldn’t do either.”

Zaha made just four appearances during his two-year stint at Manchester United but failed to make a single appearance under Van Gaal.

He subsequently returned to Palace, initially on loan before rejoining permanently.