Moving Target – Wilfried Zaha

Filed under: Moving Target - Posted by: 7shadesofsmoke

It’s a rare occasion for any player to appear under our Scouting radar twice in a single season. With a loan move from United to Cardiff last week, Wilfried Zaha becomes a Moving Target just three months after his initial Scout Report:

His arrival at Cardiff – alongside Fabio – follows a trend of young, attack-minded players joining the Bluebirds ranks as Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer revamps his Premier League strugglers. The move comes at a good time for the talented young winger, with Adnan Januzaj stealing the limelight as United’s latest hot prospect and the arrival of Juan Mata only serving to further reduce his chances of game time. Speaking on his arrival, Solskjaer identified the new signing as someone who will make the difference in the attacking third:

“He has pace, power, technical ability and goes past people. He will give us that extra change of tempo in the final third, where we really need it… He will bring that little final bit to find pockets of space and produce a bit of magic.”

The History

The Ivory Coast-born Zaha joined Palace’s youth set-up at just nine years of age before making his debut for the club eight years later. His first campaign as a regular produced a single goal and five assists from 41 appearances, before Zaha went on to deliver six goals and seven assists in 2011/12.

The following season, Zaha became Sir Alex Ferguson’s last signing at United when he sealed a £15m deal to bring the Crystal Palace talent to Old Trafford back in January of 2013. The youngster remained at Selhurst Park for the remainder of the season, playing a key role in their successful promotion campaign. Zaha went on to finish the season strongly, registering six goals and eight assists in 43 league games and signed off in style by scoring a couple of goals and creating one in the Championship play-offs as he fired Palace back into the top flight.

The Prospects

According to Moyes, the champions received several offers for Zaha and identified the Bluebirds as the right club for the winger to gain top-flight experience. After the loan deal was confirmed, the United boss explained the reasoning behind his decision to allow Zaha to move to Wales temporarily:

“I said right at the start of the season that if I could get Wilf the games, I’d keep him, but if I couldn’t then I’d get him some games on loan… in the end we felt Cardiff was the right choice for him. Hopefully he will go and get those games, show what he can do in the Premier League and be ready to come back to us at the end of the season”

Considering that he had previously managed just 30 minutes under Moyes, it’s fair to say Zaha’s Fantasy prospects can only be improved by his Bluebirds move. Comfortable on both flanks, and with the ability to play through the middle – either as a striker or in a supporting role – the youngster’s versatility will provide Solskjaer with plenty of options, though we expect him to line up on the left of a 4-2-3-1, as he did in this weekend’s victory over Norwich.

The fleet-footed winger was credited by his new manager as having “changed the game” on Saturday’s debut, a performance in which he assisted Craig Bellamy for the equalising goal after replacing Peter Whittingham. Indeed, Whittingham looks the likeliest to be affected by Zaha’s arrival – having started every league game thus far, he was somewhat ruthlessly withdrawn by Solskjaer just 38 minutes into the Canaries encounter. Given Zaha’s immediate impact, Whittingham’s 7% of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) owners have valid reasons for concern as Solskjaer injects more pace into his side on the flanks.

With current ownership sitting at less than 2%, and a drop in price from 6.5 to 5.4 in FPL, Zaha (priced at 4.9 in the Sky Sports game and 1.5 in the Sun Dream Team) may well be worth our consideration as a budget midfield prospect if his display against the Canaries is anything to go by. Ironically, it comes at a time when Januzaj’s game time has diminished as a result of Mata’s arrival at Old Trafford, while the likes of the similarly-priced Ross Barkley has struggled for returns, with just one goal in his last 15 appearances.

The short-term fixtures are also in Zaha’s favour. Games against Swansea, Villa, Hull and Fulham in their next five could allow early adopters the chance to prosper in the coming weeks, whilst those already holding Jason Puncheon may even consider Zaha as a viable midfield partner – Cardiff and Palace offer a home/away rotation for 11 of the remaining 14 Gameweeks.

Further Links

Wilfried Zaha Wikipedia
Wilfried Zaha Scout Report
Wilfried Zaha YouTube

About The Author

“The Prodigal Son. Former UEFA World Cup captain with Costa Rica.”

7shadesofsmoke @7shadesofsmoke

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  1. 2nd Round 'Find the Link' 2 pointer #3

    Stoke , Besiktas , 32Red

    1. puncheon

    2. carew

      1. Correct :D

      2. met him once.

        He was dating some chick that worked in my shop (High Street Kensington). Kept on talking about moving to Spurs...

        1. don't blame him though, I'd move from Birmingham to London for this...


          Still don't understand how she ended up selling phones for me!

    3. Tuncay

    4. Tuncau

      1. I think it is actually Primary Care Trusts.

    5. The Norwegian dude

    6. Surprised people think Tuncay is a Besiktas man, that wouldn't go well with Fener fans ;)

      1. he went to stoke, i doubt he has any morals ;)

    7. All been televised in Europa League

  2. Play Mignolet or Harper (Hull) this week?

    1. Harper

  3. Dont think the Solano one was an easy question. Yet so many of you got it right. Glad to see the knowledge of people around here!

    1. Agreed. Demi did well

  4. Good to go for next week? 1FT 0.5m ITB

    Terry Baines Kosc
    Lallana Hazard Silva Cazorla
    J.Rod Suarez Benteke

    1. looks pretty solid, I'd happily take that into GW25

  5. Best scenario for me this evening re:my ML:

    Zabaleta Hat-trick
    Hazard Hat-trick
    Oscar/Silva red cards

      1. Yeah I reckon he is gonna go wild.
        Then Oscar and Silva are going to get into a massive fight during Zabby's second goal celebration and both get sent off.

        1. A dwarf fight? Brilliant!

  6. Alright boys, open to any advice here

    Boruc Davis
    Kos Coleman Olsson Ward Bruce
    Mata Cazorla Hazard Eriksen Noone
    Bony Benteke Suarez

    Looking to get a city player back in. Bony surely needs to go. Would Eriksen to Silva be bad?

    1. caz>yaya/silva?

  7. HELP PLEASE..Mirrallas, Erikisen, Puncheon or A Johnson for Januzaj?

    1. definitely not AJ

    2. who else do you have ?

      1. Speroni Marshall

        Cahill Kosc Baker Gabbidon Bennett

        Hazard Lalana Yaya Colback Januzaj

        RVP Suarez Giroud

        (should have listened to your puncheon advie few weeks back, went with Ozil and got stung, you were well ahead of the game back then)

    3. Puncheon. Done his dash imo.

    4. mirallas/eriksen long term,puncheon or aj for this week

  8. 2nd Round 'Find the Link' 2 pointer #4

    England U21, Manchester City, Leicester City

    1. Michael Johnson

      1. Brilliant!

      2. google machine

      3. poor lad

    2. vassell.

    3. is schmeichel jnr danish

    4. nugent

    5. Bridge

    6. Wayne Sleep?

  9. watford. webcams. diving

  10. what shall i do with thsi lot?

    speroni, marshall,
    coleman, kos, ward, bardsley, burner,
    ozil, gerard, lallana, puncheon, mata,
    suarez, sturridge, campbell. 2.4 in bank. 1 FT.

    A) Ozil > Hazard?

    B) Campbell > dezko?

    C) Both?

    D) Other?

    1. for 4 points i'd do



  11. Evans replacement.

    Has to be Winston Reid.

    1) Fixtures: avl NOR SOU eve HUL sto

    2) Nailed on

    3) Good chance of gw29 fixture (v Hull at home) - will be on if Hull lose away to Brighton in FA cup.

    4) BFS putting emphasis on defence, with relegation an issue.

    5) Decent goal threat and best chance of BAPS should they have a CS.

    1. Yep, on my radar should Johnny fail to recover. What a terrible pick he was.

    2. I got in Demel because I couldn't afford Reid, but on that West Ham train.

  12. Final Round 1 pointer

    Find the Link.Oscar,Willian,Hazard. :D

      1. I'll take that as correct,because the answer can be a player/club/manager . Mata has played with them hence correct

        1. What?

        2. So Cech, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Ramires, Luiz, Mikel, Torres and Eto'o are also correct answers?

    1. chelsea

    2. eva carneiro

    3. chelsea

    4. CHELSEA! :D

    5. Is this a trick question?

    6. Michel bastos

    7. mourinho

    8. Have their WAGs all been nobbed by John Terry?

    9. Players the Juan Mata failed to oust.

      Or Chelsea, Mourinho or Abramovic...

    10. None have played in a world cup

      1. I think that ties a lot of players together ;)

  13. Brought in Cazorla for game vs palace also have Ozil.Any advice on which one to keep as arsenal cover. Cazorla picking up form, where as Ozil is due and could easily score a lot more than Cazorla in any gameweek

    1. no such thing as being due

      1. say that in the local synagogue

      2. Tell that to Shakira.

    2. Out of those two Caz is a must. He hasn't had much gametime and is hitting the form of last season. He has become crucial to Arse aspirations. He will rise to the occasion.

  14. 7Shades...opened your link above at work.


    1. And...?

    2. haha, theres no nudity ;)

  15. Me : 54 + Haz & Silva

    Cup opp. : 43 + Terry Yaya & Haz

    Should make it through ?

  16. Silva > Snodgrass for City's blank is just gonna feel soooo wrong...

    1. just keep him

  17. Final Round 2 pointer

    Name a player who has played for two premier league clubs, apart from Liverpool , which include the letter 'p'

    1. Defoe

    2. Pilkington

    3. crouch
      david james

      1. I'll take Crouch as correct

        1. Yahoooooooooooooooo :)

    4. Bale

    5. Let me rephrase, two current premier league clubs ,apart from liverpool , which include the letter 'p'

      1. jerome

      2. Bale?


      3. Palace

      4. Still wrong, answer on new post everyone

      5. Puncheon

      6. Crouch has played for Spurs and Southmapton?

        1. yes, hence chucky got it correct first. I didnt see it. My apologies

      7. gabidon

      8. Puncheon

        Southampton and Palace

  18. NEW POST
  19. So how many people are keeping players on their bench for GW28? A max of 2 and play 4 at the back that week rather than kicking out Man City players and or Mata/AJ/Mannone etc

  20. Wilshere :arrow: Lallana

    Yay or nay ?

    1. Yay.

  21. Dear British Gas, sorry I was unable to pay full bill this month as I had to have my cat put down and the vets bill was outrageous.

    Hello Captain Morgans and slim cigars :):

  22. I'm thinking that there's a few players I want to try out before the season ends, early as it still is. Like you get some players and they don't do anything for weeks except hit the woodwork a few times and somehow fail to score against the team man city put 9 past, like you Oscar. Like I've not tried out hazard or yaya yet, sort of waiting to see if i get lucky with them instantly.

  23. best going forward: both cary their own particular risk


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Fixture Ticker

“My team this year has been the Fantasy Premier League equivalent of a Morecambe & Wise sketch. I've played all the right players . . . but not necessarily in the right order.”

Fantacity on his 2013/14 season