'He told me to play without fear' – Wan-Bissaka reveals Zaha advice after joining Manchester United

The Ivorian winger left Old Trafford in 2015 and he had some words of wisdom for his former Crystal Palace team-mate after his lucrative switch

Aaron Wan-Bissaka said former Manchester United forward Wilfried Zaha told him to “play without fear” after moving to Old Trafford.

The England Under-21 international right-back completed a £50 million ($63m) transfer from Crystal Palace to Premier League giants United last month.

Wan-Bissaka made his first appearance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United in a 2-0 friendly win over Perth Glory in Australia on Saturday.

Palace star Zaha spent two forgettable years at United before returning to Selhurst Park permanently in 2015 and he had some advice for his former colleague after his switch to Manchester.

“I wanted to take my development to the next level and this was the team where I thought I could do it,” he said.

“It was mostly development as a player, really. I thought this was the right team for that to happen. When I walked in everyone has been talking to me. encouraging me with advice. That has helped me a lot.

“When [Zaha] knew that I joined he just told me to play without fear. I have come here as a new signing he said ‘just play your game and do what I did last season.’

“He was happy for me. He said I deserved it and I should continue working hard and doing what I do.”

England U21 manager Aidy Boothroyd claimed talk of a move to United affected Wan-Bissaka’s performances during the Under-21 European Championship.

The Three Lions were knocked out in the group stages of the competition and the United youngster endured a torrid time, most notably scoring an own goal in a 2-1 defeat to France.

Boothroyd felt Wan-Bissaka “had his head turned” amid the speculation but the 21-year-old said: “I haven’t spoken to him [Boothroyd] about that.

“I was not focused on [the speculation] really. I do not focus on speculation, I just keep my head down and keep doing it on the pitch. It is easy for me to block out, the main thing is just playing football.

“Over the summer there was a lot to go through. I am here now and that is my main focus. I expected [the extra attention] when I came here. It is a big club so the attention will always be there. I just need to play my game and block it out.”

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