Wilfried Zaha and Fabio Complete Loan Moves to Cardiff from Manchester United

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Wilfried Zaha of Manchester United looks on from the bench prior to the FA Cup with Budweiser Third round match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on January 5, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

With first-team opportunities nonexistent at Manchester United, Wilfried Zaha and Fabio da Silva have been sent on loan to Cardiff City for the duration of the season.

David Moyes confirmed news of Zaha's move on Friday, per United's official Twitter feed:

Cardiff quickly followed Moyes' comments with an official announcement of deals for both Zaha and Fabio:

Zaha had made just two starts for United in all competitions and was clearly well down manager Moyes' pecking order, especially with the emergence of Adnan Januzaj.

Add the recent addition of Juan Mata—who can be utilised out wide—to Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani, and Zaha surely would have remained buried at Old Trafford.

Worse, he was only afforded a spot on the bench for United's U-21 team on Jan. 21, as Will Keane, Federico Macheda and Jesse Lingard were all chosen ahead of the speedy winger. Failing to start for the U-21 side is an indicator that Zaha's form has really suffered this year since his switch to United.

On Jan. 23, he posted the following picture to Instagram, hinting at his impending loan deal with a caption that read, "Journey carries on ..."

He joined United in a £15 million deal from Crystal Palace last January and was immediately loaned back to Palace as they made a push for Premier League promotion. It should be noted that Sir Alex Ferguson, not Moyes, was the orchestrator of that deal, perhaps a factor in Zaha's regular spot on the bench this season.

Zaha was excellent for Crystal Palace a year ago, scoring eight goals and adding nine assists. He's a dynamo in space out on the wing, using his speed and deft footwork to break down defenders one-on-one and either create chances for his teammates or let rip himself. 

Jon Super/Associated Press

But for all of his natural gifts, his technical abilities aren't always up to par. At 21 years of age, his decision-making should be better than it is at this stage in his career. 

At Cardiff City, he'll likely have the chance to improve just that, as will Brazilian full-back Fabio. An increase in playing time should do wonders for both, and the duo will have the opportunity to showcase their talents. At United, that playing time simply wouldn't have been there.


Follow TRappaRT on Twitter