Sport Premier League

Monday 22 September 2014

Palace complete season-long Zaha loan

Published 28/08/2014 | 19:41

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Wilfried Zaha struggled to make any impression for Manchester United
Wilfried Zaha struggled to make any impression for Manchester United

Crystal Palace have completed the season-long loan signing of Wilfried Zaha from Manchester United.

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Zaha will return to Palace after just two appearances for United despite costing the Old Trafford club £15million.

The 21-year-old will become Warnock's first signing in his second Selhurst Park stint, with only paperwork left to complete the deal.

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 in 2013, but was then loaned back to the Eagles.

The 21-year-old was only able to muster two appearances for the Old Trafford outfit last term under then-boss David Moyes.

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

Warnock was appointed Palace's new manager on Wednesday, ending owner Steve Parish's lengthy search to replace Tony Pulis, who walked out of the club on the eve of the new season.

Former Sheffield United boss Warnock rubbished suggestions Zaha has an attitude problem, backing him to realise his rich potential in south London.

"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 had three or four good offers to go elsewhere, but when you're a wide player or forward and you've got 15,000 people who love you, it helps your chances.

"I think there's still a lot more to come from him.

"People have criticised him for his attitude, but I've never seen that.

"I've always thought his attitude is spot-on: if you're willing to spend the time with him he's always willing to learn.

"So I think we'll see a really different Wilfried and hopefully he can have a really good season."

Warnock 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 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 boss said Puncheon will be a crucial member of the Selhurst Park squad.

"We have had a good talk today and I am delighted with his response," he said.

"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 admitted he is unsure whether Keith Millen will remain with the new-look Eagles.

First-team coach Millen stepped in as caretaker manager after Pulis walked out.

Owner Steve Parish had been keen to retain the majority of the backroom staff that had worked under the former Stoke boss, but Warnock admitted he wants to make his own additions.

"I actually don't know (whether Millen wants to stay) because we haven't had chance to talk yet," said Warnock.

"I've told him I like him but it hasn't gone further than that.

"I've not made up my mind yet, I'm looking at a few people.

"I'm talking to the chairman all the time, I've got two names.

"I would like to bring in a couple of lads if I'm honest, not necessarily people I've worked with before.

"But I'm hoping next week to do that.

"I've got good staff here, I've known Keith for many, many years and he's an outright gentleman.

"The staff that are here, they seem to be very receptive."

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