Wilfried Zaha has described his time at Manchester United as “hell” as he opens up about the “demons” he faced during his time at the club.
The 25-year-old moved to Old Trafford as a teenager in a deal worth a reported £15million before being loaned back to Crystal Palace for the remainder of the 2012–13 season.
In his first full season with the Red Devils, Zaha only played four matches in all competitions before making a loan move to Cardiff City to finish the 2013-14 season with the Welsh club.
“I went through so much with United, with England,” Zaha told Shortlist. “There were rumours that the reason I wasn’t playing [many games] for United was because I slept with David Moyes’s daughter, and no one [at the club] 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 [had]. 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?'”
Zaha has now rebuilt his career back at Selhurst Park under the guidance of Roy Hodgson with a return of nine goals in 29 Premier League appearances last campaign.
“When I was at United I had [money], but I was still so down and depressed,” Zaha added. “People think your life’s different because you’ve got money, you’ve got fame, so they don’t treat you the same.”