Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated that Wiflried Zaha has the potential to be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo, quite a comparison considering that the former Palace man had never started a Premier League match for Manchester United, since arriving at Old Trafford last summer.
The 21-year-old joined Cardiff on loan on deadline day and made his debut for the Bluebirds on Saturday, coming off the bench against Norwich to deliver an assist as Soslkjaer’s men came from behind to win 2-1, gifting Ole his first win in the Premier League since his arrival in South Wales.
Having seen a host of phenomenal players during his spell at Old Trafford, Solskjaer was happy to compare Zaha’s potential to that of a young Ronaldo.
“He is one of the best I have seen with the ball,” said Solskjaer.
“He has quick feet and is brave like Cristiano and wants to go forward.
“But he has got to make a decision about how good does he want to be and how much does he love this game. He can grow up to become a proper player like Ronaldo if he wants.
“I have never seen anyone work as hard as Ronaldo. Before training, after training, he was an exceptionally dedicated man and proved to everyone what dedication gets you,” continued the Cardiff manager.
“I am not afraid of using Sir Alex Ferguson or Cristiano as an example when I have to because to get the best out of your talent you need to be dedicated.”
While it’s pleasing and encouraging to see Zaha playing well, Solskjaer’s focus on the youngster’s need to be dedicated is not casual either, given that Zaha is widely thought to have been marginalised at Old Trafford because of a poor attitude in training, one that could change in Wales.
“It’s a desire and attitude from within. It’s what you’ve got in your heart and Cristiano’s always had it.”
“Everyone needs to be loved. It’s like with your kids. You love them but you also have to tell them straight. It’s the same with players,” said Ole.
“He came on and made an impact, he lifted everyone and just wants to play football.
“That’s something he will get loads of here. I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
He could be the next Ronaldo, let’s just hope he doesn’t turn into another Nani.