Wilfried Zaha unfazed by Champions League return to Manchester United

Wilfried Zaha is not fazed about his return to Manchester United with Galatasaray in the Champions League.

Zaha is part of the Galatasaray squad aiming to inflict more misery on Manchester United. The winger moved to Istanbul in the summer after his contract with Crystal Palace expired, despite interest from across the continent and Saudi Arabia.

After departing Palace in the summer of 2013, he joined United for one season, being Sir Alex Ferguson’s final acquisition at Old Trafford.

Croydon-raised Zaha made just two league appearances for David Moyes’ Manchester United before spending the second half of the season on loan at Cardiff City.

He then returned to Selhurst Park to become the club’s all-time Premier League scoring and appearance maker.

The 30-year-old departed Crystal Palace in the summer after turning down a club-record contract offer of £200,000 per week to join Turkish heavyweights Galatasaray.

The Ivory Coast international may not have expected to be back at Old Trafford so quickly, but he will feel right at home. He’s gone back previously, most notably scoring twice in a 3-1 Palace triumph in 2020 to follow up a win the previous season at the stadium he temporarily called home.

Wilfried Zaha says he returns to Manchester United as a player who refused to let his career ‘die out’ a decade on from his failed move to Old Trafford.

The 30-year-old is back in Manchester with Galatasaray ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League Group A clash, and it was put to him that he may well still have a chip on his shoulder about his miserable spell in a United shirt.

“To be honest, do you think I’m bothered when you look at my face?” “No,” Zaha said.

“Realistically, I believe I went through a phase in which you either build from it or die from it.” And I was never going to die as a result of it.

“It shaped my character.” I was resolved not to let my career die because I had gone somewhere and it had not worked out. I was really determined to get where I wanted to go, and here I am now.

The club prepared for their return to the Champions League group stage with a busy summer in the transfer market, adding plenty of European experience as they seek to progress to the knockout stages. the ex Crystal Palace said: “We have a lot of talent, a lot of experience. Obviously they’ve got a good team but at the same time we’ve got players who can hurt them as well.”

Zaha may have always wished to play a Champions League match at Old Trafford, and he will get the opportunity on Tuesday, although a decade later than expected. He had a difficult journey, but he has now arrived at his destination.

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