Eagles let Zaha fly the nest
Wilfried Zaha deserves his chance to shine at Manchester United despite speculation over a loan return to Crystal Palace, according to Eagles co-chairman Steve Parish.
Palace's promotion back to the top flight has sparked talk of the 20-year-old again being loaned to the Eagles by new United boss David Moyes, but Selhurst Park chief Parish believes Zaha will be a central part of the Red Devils' bid to retain their top-flight crown next term.
Parish said: "I honestly think he'll go to Manchester United and do really well, I really do. People are saying, 'Will you loan him back?'. I think he deserves his chance there, and I think he'll get it."
Palace manager Ian Holloway on Monday admitted he was tempted to ask Moyes if he could borrow Zaha again next season, but admitted "he'd be silly to give me him back".
Yet on Tuesday morning even Holloway stated the prospect of luring Zaha back to south London on loan was unrealistic.
"There is no scenario. He is a Man United player. David Moyes has got a great player in his squad for next season," Holloway told Sky Sports News.
Zaha, who made his senior England debut against Sweden in November, was the liveliest performer on show as Palace beat Watford 1-0 at Wembley on Monday and brought the play-off final alive every time he got on the ball, with another one of his mazy runs drawing a foul for the match-winning penalty converted by Kevin Phillips.
Evergreen striker Phillips, 39, is at the opposite end of his football journey and has played with and against some of the best prodigious youngsters in the game during his career.
He rates Zaha, along with Blackpool's Tom Ince, right up there.
"Wilfried and Tom are two of the most exciting young talents in this country at the moment," Phillips said. "They're both awesome players and got their own strengths, but Wilf is a raw talent and at times (yesterday) he had both of their full-backs in knots."