Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Wilfried Zaha failed to make the grade at Manchester United because his move to Old Trafford came too soon in his career.
Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson’s final signing at United, in January 2013, and was loaned back to Crystal Palace for the remainder of the Scot’s last season as United manager.
The then-20-old-winger made just four senior appearances in his first season at United, under David Moyes’ tutelage, and was sent out on loan in January 2014 to Cardiff City.
Solskjaer was at the helm at the Cardiff City stadium for the Bluebirds’ fateful campaign and said he is glad to see that Zaha, the Crystal Palace winger, has successfully rebuilt his career after leaving United in 2015.
“I worked with him for half a season there [Cardiff],” the United caretaker boss said ahead of United’s trip to Selhurst Park on Wednesday night.
“He was a great lad, he worked hard to improve and it was maybe too early for him when he came to United.
“It is great to see him playing well now.”
Zaha, now considered among the Premier League’s most exciting wingers, has scored seven goals in 23 league appearances this season for Roy Hodgson’s side, who sit 14th in the table.
United are looking to bounce back from drawing their last game against Liverpool at Old Trafford, though Solskjaer has a host of injury concerns to contend with.
Up to nine first-team players are out of contention, including Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard, with Marcus Rashford facing a race against time to be fit for the trip to Croydon.