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Manchester United Transfer News: Loaning Must Not Keep Reds from Wilfried Zaha

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15:  Curtis Davies of Birmingham and Wilfred Zaha of Crystal Palace challenge for the ball during the npower Championship match between Birmingham City and Crystal Palace at St Andrews on December 15, 2012 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2012

Wilfried Zaha has been excellent for Crystal Palace this season, automatically putting bigger clubs in hot pursuit of his attacking skills.

But the Eagles aren't going to let him go easily, as Manchester United's Six Alex Ferguson is finding out. Ferguson's side would benefit from the 20-year-old forward's skill set, but Crystal Palace won't let him go without a stipulation.

Daily Mail reporter Joe Bernstein had this to say about the situation:

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson could land £10million Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, 20, in January by letting him spend the rest of the season on loan at Selhurst Park. 

Palace are willing to listen to offers for Zaha right away if they do not disrupt the club's campaign for promotion to the Premier League.

Obviously, the Red Devils would love to see Zaha on the pitch right away, but it's not necessary. It certainly shouldn't push the team away from pursuing him for future teams, especially if it's just next year.

The Red Devils have 43 goals this season, putting them far ahead of every other English Premier League squad in terms of goals scored. As a first-place team, they can be pretty comfortable about their current group of attackers.

Between Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney, there wouldn't even be a ton of room for Zaha to play. Halting his development, even in the slightest, wouldn't be advisable. 

Zaha has scored four goals and racked up three assists in 20 games this season for Crystal Palace. Without him, the Eagles would likely falter and miss a chance at promotion, so it's hard to blame them for trying to hold onto their dynamic starlet for as long as possible.

But Manchester United have the cash to make it happen. According to Bernstein, it looks like they also have the approach to make it happen. 

Allowing Zaha to finish out the year with the Eagles would also build his character. As a young player, he hasn't had the experience of playing for a world-class club, so letting him take part in a promotion push would give him a chance to mature in a crucial situation.

It's worth it to take a wait-and-see approach here. Even though he's talented, he could polish his game even more, plus gain more confidence, while leading Crystal Palace to a top-six finish in the English League Championship.

As long as he winds up in Old Trafford, that's all that matters. Zaha's best days are still ahead of him, and showing patience fits this situation.

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