As Manchester United began plotting out the post-Alex Ferguson period, the club's desire to remain competitive on both the domestic and continental stages in light of the Scot's departure left them seeking a mix of stability and exciting young talent. David Moyes was to bring the former; Wilfried Zaha was indicative of the latter.
Signed mid-way through Ferguson's final season, Zaha wouldn't arrive in Manchester from Crystal Palace until the end of the season; a welcoming gift for the soon-to-be former Everton boss Moyes.
As United proceeded to wrap up the Premier League (largely thanks to Robin van Persie's inspired performances), Zaha arrived as a 20-year-old English winger looking primed to really kick-on and become a driving force in the English top flight.
Five years on, Zaha is back at Crystal Palace, has declared and played internationally for the Ivory Coast, while David Moyes (after indifferent spells with Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham United) is a largely forgotten footnote in United's as yet unsuccessful attempt to recreate the glory years of Ferguson's spell in charge.
Discussing the nature of his brief spell with the club in the Guardian, Zaha revealed how he felt the club had all but left him to his own devices when faced with some initial bedding-in issues.
Rarely afforded the kind of playing-time one would have expected prior to his arrival, Zaha addresses the rumour that did the rounds and argued to explain his absence.
“There were rumours that the reason I wasn’t playing for United was because I slept with David Moyes’s daughter, and no one attempted to clear that up. So I was fighting my demons by myself, these rumours that I knew weren’t true.
“I was living in Manchester by myself, nowhere near anyone else, because the club had a hold over where I lived. They hadn’t given me a car, like every other player. Nothing. I’m living in this hell by myself, away from my family, and I thought: ‘If this doesn’t make me stronger, what will?’”
A distressing time for the young man, he is now in back in London with Crystal Palace; a decisive factor in assuring their continued status as a Premier League club.