Zaha opens up on Red Devils 'hell'

Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson's last signing before he stepped down as United manager in 2013 and was handed a five-and-a-half-year contract at the age of 19 - in a deal that took him to Old Trafford at the end of the season.

The signing was a symbol as the next superstar handed over to the new regime - but having made his debut under the new manager David Moyes in the Community Shield, the £10m wonderkid made only two Premier League appearances as a substitute before being allowed to join Cardiff on loan in January 2014.

The Ivory Coast forward eventually rejoined Palace after another loan spell at Selhurst Park and has since excelled in keeping his boyhood club in the Premier League for a record sixth successive season.

Now, at the age of 25 and thriving as one of the league's most exciting talents, Zaha told ShortList that he was disappointed with life at the Theatre of Dreams.

"Obviously, getting to United isn't easy, so not being given a chance is hard to take. I don't regret anything because it made me stronger. I feel as though I can deal with anything now," he said.

"I went through so much with United, with England. 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 dealing with this at 19; 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?"

"When I was at United I had money but I was still so down and depressed. People think your life's different because you've got money, you've got fame, so they don't treat you the same."

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