Sir Alex shows hypocritical side as Man Utd agree Zaha fee

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Within two weeks of saying that Liverpool have taken a massive gamble in paying £12m for Daniel Sturridge, Sir Alex Ferguson appears to have gone even further in the risk-taking stakes with Wilfried Zaha.

Back in November, Manchester United could be backed at 14/1 to win the race for Zaha’s signature, with moves to Arsenal and Tottenham believed to be more likely.

However, Sir Alex has agreed a £15m deal with Crystal Palace for the 20-year-old that will see him sign until the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

Meanwhile, he will be sent back on loan to Crystal Palace for the duration of the season to aid their quest for promotion to the Premier League, which can be backed at 5/2.

There is no doubting that Zaha has talent and endless amounts of potential, but if Liverpool paid on the steep side for Sturridge, Man Utd have gone beyond the Ritz.

At least Sturridge is a proven Premier League goalscorer, Zaha is yet to ply his trade at a higher level than the Championship.

It is arguably just the latest chapter in the book of overpriced English players, with about £5m looking a more realistic price from what he has achieved so far.

But it cannot be doubted that Man Utd have not lived up to their normal expectations in the wide areas this season.

Nani is out of favour and it would be no surprise to see him leave Old Trafford in the summer.

Antonio Valencia is suffering from a mini form crisis, while Ashley Young has been quite injury prone since arriving from Aston Villa.

There is every chance that Zaha will get his fair share of game time at Man Utd, contrary to some beliefs and his explosive pace will be a big asset on the counter attack late in games.

Man Utd are 1/3 to win the Premier League this season.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.