Zaha returns to Palace on loan

  • Last Updated: August 28 2014, 20:31 BST

Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha on a season-long loan deal, both clubs have announced.

Wilfried Zaha is happy to be back at Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha is happy to be back at Crystal Palace

Zaha returns to Palace after just two appearances for United, despite costing the Old Trafford club £15million in January 2013.

The 21-year-old becomes new Palace boss Neil Warnock's first signing in his second stint in the Selhurst Park hotseat.

Palace said in a statement on their website: "Crystal Palace are delighted to confirm that winger Wilfried Zaha has re-joined the club on loan from Manchester United.

"The two-cap England international has agreed a deal that will see him spend the entire 2014/15 season at Selhurst Park."

Ivory Coast-born Zaha made more than 100 appearances in three years at Crystal Palace, progressing through the junior ranks at Selhurst Park.

Zaha signed for United during the January transfer window last year but was then loaned back to the Eagles, where he helped them gain promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.

Zaha barely featured under David Moyes at United, though, and spent the second half of last season on loan at Cardiff.

The England Under-21 graduate is also deemed surplus to requirements under new manager Louis van Gaal, paving the way for another stint at Palace.

Zaha said on www.cpfc.co.uk: "I'm just buzzing to be back, to be in and around the lads again.

"The best place to come back to is Palace where I am loved. When I come back here I know I can just get straight back into it."

On his time at United, Zaha believes he has developed his game training alongside the club's superstars, but was keen to gain more playing time.

He said: "It's a great club, but since I've gone up there it hasn't gone my way really.

"I haven't really had the chance to showcase my talent or play much - that's why I thought it would be best for me to get a loan, gain some experience and maybe go back a better player."

Zaha is also looking forward to working under Warnock again, with the Yorkshireman having previously been in charge of Palace when Zaha was close to breaking into the first team in 2010.

"I spoke to him as well and he told me that he would guarantee me a chance - all I've got to do is work hard, so I am fine with that," Zaha said.

Warnock, who was named as Tony Pulis' replacement on Wednesday, rubbished suggestions Zaha has an attitude problem and backed him to realise his rich potential in south London after rejecting several offers to go elsewhere.

"I think it's the right fit for him: when you're a young lad and you go to a big club like Manchester United, you can get lost because there are so many good players," he said.

"People have criticised him for his attitude, but I've never seen that. So I think we'll see a really different Wilfried and hopefully he can have a really good season."

Warnock also revealed he has already cleared the air with midfielder Jason Puncheon, following the pair's spat last season.

Warnock said he would never have chosen Puncheon for spot-kick duties after the Palace star's awful penalty miss in a 2-0 Premier League defeat to Tottenham last term.

Puncheon blasted his former QPR boss on Twitter, leading to a £15,000 fine and an FA warning on future conduct.

The new Palace manager said: "We have had a good talk today and I am delighted with his response.

"He is an important part of the squad. If he gets his head right, he is as good as anyone. He will be involved. I don't envision any problems at all."

Warnock, meanwhile, is unsure whether Keith Millen, who stepped in as caretaker manager after Pulis walked out, will remain with the new-look Eagles.