Following what has been an emotional year for Place fans many are wondering if this could be the season that the prodigal son returns?
From the jubilation of promotion at Wembley in May, hopelessness of rock bottom in mid November to the remarkable transformation seen in April under the management of Pulis it can never be said that being a Palace fan is boring! One player who has also shared a roller coaster season is ex-Palace hero Wilfred Zaha.
Zaha, a product of the Eagle's academy, signed for Manchester United for £15 million in January 2013. As part of the transfer it was agreed that Zaha would remain on loan to Palace until the end of that season. The 21 year-old played a major role in helping the South London club to secure promotion, most notably with two late goals against Brighton and Hove Albion in the play-off semi-final helping secure the Eagle's ticket to Wembley.
Former Palace boss, Ian Holloway heaped praise on the England U21 International saying "he has more natural talent than any footballer I have played with or managed during a lifetime in the game"but warned that "Wilf has only one person to blame" should he not fulfill his potential.Despite the promise and large price tag, Zaha found himself at the bottom of the pecking order at Manchester United. After rumours of ill-discipline behind the scenes at the club, David Moyes opted to loan the winger out to Cardiff City. Zaha recorded some impressive performances for the Bluebirds but was unable to help the Welsh side avoid relegation.
Zaha now returns to United where he is yet to discover if he is part of the United squad that will soon begin a Pre-Season tour of the United States. Sightings of the youngster around the Croydon area has added fuel to the rumours of a possible return. Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has consistently shown interest in bringing back the youngster but insists the conditions must be right “If he’s sold then I will sit down with our manager and see what he thinks".
Zaha faces tough competition at United in the form of Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani who are all looking to establish themselves as Van Gaal's first choice wide men. Despite interest from the Palace chairman and fans alike the question of Zaha's future still remains in the hands of the new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal.