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Manchester United grabs its next potential star: Wilfried Zaha

Jan 25, 2013, 8:55 AM EDT

Crystal Palace v Bolton - npower Championship Getty Images

Mighty Manchester United scored one of the big wins of the winter transfer window when the long-rumored switch became official, seeing Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha move to north to Old Trafford.

Important to note here is that Zaha, the 20-year-old winger who already has one full international cap for England, will remain at Crystal Palace through the spring season; signed to a pre-contract, Zaha (pictured at right) will begin playing for United this summer.

That’s important for Palace, which currently sits fourth in the npower Championship, England’s second tier.  The top two spots gain automatic promotion into the (financially lucrative) Premier League. The next four spots move into a playoff for one additional promotion spot.

The final sale price is about $23 million. That’s a big payday for Palace, money the South London club can deploy to help the once-prominent club retake some of its lost ground.

As for Zaha, a zippy winger, he’ll have a lot of competition at United and must keep improving his game in order to collect playing time. On the other hand, United is a place where young players have reliably been provided a chance. Sir Alex Ferguson will, in fact, play his young talent or extend loan deals to get them playing time, as United did with Danny Welbeck.

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