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Parish: Manchester United didn't want London return for Zaha
Wilfried Zaha's last appearance for Palace in the Wembley play-off final win over Watford. PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD.
STEVE Parish says Manchester United’s reluctance to send Wilfried Zaha back to the capital was the key factor in why the winger didn’t make a sensational loan return to SE25.
The Eagles sold the England international to the Red Devils, then managed by Alex Ferguson, 12 months ago but he was instantly loaned back for the remainder of the campaign, playing a vital role in Palace’s play-off success.
However, by the time Zaha finally headed north Ferguson had been replaced by David Moyes and has so far struggled to make an impression at Old Trafford.
Moyes was more than happy for the 21-year-old to go out on loan in last month’s transfer window, but not to a London club – helping Cardiff City secure his services instead of Palace.
Selhurst co-chairman Steve Parish said: “We tried to get Wilf back and offered a big loan fee but Manchester United didn't want him going back to London, I think they wanted him to go and challenge himself elsewhere.
“It was disappointing to miss out on him but sometimes they say it’s better to not go back.
“I think Thomas Ince and Wilf are the two best young wide players in the country, so to have either of them is fantastic for the club.”
Ince joined the Eagles on deadline day from Blackpool on loan until the end of the season in what was a busy time for Parish and the Eagles.
Also coming in were Joe Ledley from Celtic, Scott Dann from Blackburn, Wayne Hennessey from Wolves, with Jason Puncheon making his loan switch from Southampton permanent, business which Parish was more than satisfied with.
He said: “Converting Jason Puncheon was key in order to free up a loan slot and we wanted Punch to stay anyway, so it was ideal really.
“Thomas wanted to come to us and we always said that we wanted him either way, whether it was a buy or a loan.
“Joe Ledley is another exciting one, I think people forget that a lot of people were in for him when he left Cardiff and he has done very, very well up there.
“We were going after Dann and Ivan Ramis because we didn’t think we would get Scott, but then we managed it and Scott is a bit younger and has a bit ore resale value.
“We had a look at Leon Best but we just couldn't reach a deal on that one, the manager was interested though.”
Parish added: “We’ve brought in reinforcements to help everybody and we’re very happy with the business that we’ve done.
“It’s not just about one player.
“We've done our best and everybody seems happy with what we've done and we will see what happens.
“You don’t win games in the transfer window, you win them on the pitch so we will have to see what happens.
“What we've done is create competition in the squad and we’re stronger.
“But that’s not to say the new players will walk straight into the team, the lads have been fantastic so far this season.”
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