Crystal Palace are delighted to confirm that winger Wilfried Zaha has re-joined the club on loan from Manchester United.
The two-cap England international has agreed a deal that will see him spend the entire 2014/15 season at Selhurst Park.
Zaha, 21, moved to Old Trafford for an undisclosed fee in January 2013 but stayed at Palace on loan until the end of the Championship campaign, playing a huge role in the club’s promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.
Now the fans’ favourite has returned to SE25 as new manager Neil Warnock’s first signing and could go straight into the squad to face Newcastle United on Saturday.
READ ZAHA'S THOUGHTS ON HIS PALACE RETURN
Born in the Ivory Coast, Zaha’s affinity with Crystal Palace began at an early age when he and his family moved to Thornton Heath. By the age of 12, the talented attacking player had been snapped up by the club’s academy.
Zaha progressed impressively through the youth set-up and was handed his first-team debut, aged 17, in the 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff City in March 2010, before signing his maiden professional deal with the club the following month.
The start of the following season saw Zaha mark first start in red and blue with his first professional goal, hitting the opener in a 3-2 victory over Leicester City in August 2010.
Now a first-team regular, Zaha racked up a further 43 appearances in all competitions during the 2010/11 season, but failed to add to his goal tally.
The following campaign under Dougie Freedman saw him improve that part of his game, hitting nine goals from the wide areas – including Palace’s equaliser in the 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion – as his reputation began to rise.
Zaha started the 2012/13 season in a similar vein of form, hitting back-to-back braces in October victories over Wolves and Burnley to attract attention from some of England’s biggest clubs and national boss Roy Hodgson, who handed Zaha his international bow as a substitute in the 3-2 defeat to Sweden the following month.
By January 2013, with another stunning goal against Huddersfield Town now under his belt, Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United came calling, but agreed to loan Zaha back to Palace for the remainder of their promotion push.
He scored just one more goal between then and the end of the regular 46-game Championship campaign, but would ultimately prove his worth during the play-offs.
After a 0-0 draw in the semi-final first leg against Brighton, Zaha fired two memorable goals at the Amex Stadium to send the Eagles soaring into the final – where his trickery won the extra time penalty that Kevin Phillips converted to send Palace into the top flight.
Zaha found chances at Manchester United hard to come by though, despite starting their 2-0 Community Shield victory over Wigan Athletic in August 2013.
He featured in just three Premier League games for the club between then and January 2014, prompting him to seek first-team football with a loan move to Cardiff – whom he represented against Palace in April.
But now Zaha will pull on the famous red and blue jersey once again after returning to his hometown club for the duration of the 2014/15 season.