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Wilfried Zaha has the world at his feet, says John Salako


JOHN SALAKO says the world is Wilfried Zaha's oyster as he looks set for a big money move to Manchester United.

The former Palace star says the 20-year-old has all the raw talent to succeed at the highest level, adding that a reported £12 million move to the 19-time champions of England could only inspire the Palace youngster, who won his first England cap in November.

"He has got incredible talent," said Salako, who made 215 appearances for the Eagles between 1986 and 1995.

"I am not surprised that Sir Alex is coming in for him as he was sensational when we beat Man Utd in the cup last year.

"He is strong, he can run with the ball and can take on defenders and he has great skill.

"He maybe just needs to learn to be a bit more of a team player, but he will get that at United."

And Salako said there was no better place for Zaha to develop than under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, with the Sky television pundit likening the 20-year-old winger to United heroes such as Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"He is very much in the mould of players like Giggs and Ronaldo," said the former Coventry, Reading and England winger.

"Sir Alex has always liked his great wingers and Wilfried certainly has that ability.

"He just needs to have that desire to keep improving and be the best player he can be.

"And there will be no better place than training with those players everyday – being at the biggest club in the world with the chance to win trophies can only inspire you."

Salako said Zaha's friends and family would be important to help him stay grounded, adding that he should not take any notice of the price tag and instead see it as a massive confidence boost that he is wanted by Sir Alex.

"He seems very strong-minded," said Salako.

"He seems like he has a great heart and he loves his football, it's about the attitude and desire."

But Salako sounded a warning to Zaha, citing former academy star John Bostock - who has failed to shine since moving to Spurs - as an example of where it can go wrong.

"He undoubtedly had the talent, but not the attitude," said Salako.

"We have seen it happen too often with people moving on at a young age and there is a massive pressure for it to work out.

"But I think people like Nathaniel Clyne have done it the right way, playing 120 games for the club and learning his trade and now he has made a seamless move into the Premier League.

"To be honest, I think he could have gone to a top side, but then you look at people like Victor Moses, who went to Wigan and had to bide his time with other players there, but now he has stepped up and got a move to one of the big teams."

However, Salako said he felt Zaha, like Clyne, was very grounded, adding that he was no longer a kid in the modern game.

"It is about maturity," he said.

"Different players get there at different times, but if you mix a good attitude with ability, then success will come."

Meanwhile, Salako believes it will be a good deal for Palace if they can, as reported, keep Zaha until the summer.

"Of course, we don't like to see players go, but if he can help us get to the play-offs and somehow into the Premier League, it will be invaluable to Palace with the money that comes with it."

Wilfried Zaha has the world at his feet, says John Salako

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