Author Topic: Zaha tipped to emulate Ronaldo  (Read 547 times)

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Offline Prince james C. Inyogu

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Former Crystal Palace midfielder John Salako
believes new Manchester United recruit Wilfried Zaha could finally be the replacement for club legend Cristiano Ronaldo that Sir Alex Ferguson has been looking for. The Red Devils wrapped up a £17
million January deal with the
Eagles for the services of Zaha,
which will see the gifted 20-year-
old stay on loan with Palace until
the end of the season and then move to Old Trafford in the
summer. And Salako - who is also a youth
coach with the London club -
suggests with enough hard work
and determination, Zaha can fulfil
his potential with the Premier
League leaders and emulate the 2008 Ballon d'Or winner's success. "Manchester United never really
replaced Cristiano Ronaldo and I
really do think Wilfried Zaha's got
that kind of ability," he told "If he can match half of Ronaldo's
dedication, drive, focus and desire
to be the best player in the
world, he'll have a chance. "Certainly working under Sir Alex
in that environment at Man
United, he couldn't go anywhere
better. I just think he's going to
be an absolute star there. "The lad's got everything; he's
strong, quick and got so much
ability, but he needs to learn the
game - at the moment he's still
quite raw." Zaha has wowed Championship
crowds this season with a number
of sumptuous displays, and
impressed enough to win an
England international cap with a
substitute's appearance against Sweden in November. However, Salako feels Zaha is at
the point in his career where he
will have to buckle down and put
in the effort to match his talent,
and avoid the fate of many
promising youngsters who struggle when they move to a
'big' club. He continued: "He's not a kid, he's
20, he's played nearly 100 games
so he's going to have to really
mature now and take this on
board because I think he's going
to have to work hard. "It's going to be about his
mentality and desire and really
what he wants for himself
because he's going to have every
opportunity going into a club like
Man United. "The lads do get carried away;
they think it's all about being at a
big club and wearing the tracksuit
and you've made it, but you
haven't. "A lot of these kids should
perhaps stay at smaller clubs and
build their careers, but I'm glad
that Wilfried's dreams are finally
coming true and Palace get a
decent fee." And the 43-year-old also praised
the fact that English football as a
whole will benefit from the big-
money deal, with Eagles boss Ian
Holloway investing in other clubs
with the substantial fee for Zaha. Salako added: "It's a fantastic
move for football - there's a
young lad who's come through
the ranks at Palace, he's done
well, he's made his England debut,
and for that fee he's going to arguably the biggest club in the
world. "The world's going to be at his
feet and that money is going to
go to Palace. Ian Holloway's
already spending it in the lower
leagues so that's going to get
filtered through, so it's a great story for English football."
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