It was nice to see us beating off competition to sign Wilfried Zaha the other day. Whilst I won't claim to be an expert on the Ivorian-born, but England-capped, winger, I am delighted that a highly thought of, young talent chose Manchester United over other supposed suitors such as Arsenal.
It's refreshing to be reassured that young players are eager to learn at Old Trafford rather than elsewhere and £10m, plus a further £5m, will be a bargain if he lives up the expectations placed on him.
His status and reasonable fee means that there will be pressure on him to deliver but I personally don't expect much immediately. Maybe that is me being cynical or naive to his talents but that phrase is not used in a bad way. He will be 21 in August when the season begins and will have never played Premier League football. Much like Chris Smalling in 2011-12 and Nick Powell this season, I would rather see steady progress on the field and a clean nose off it.
Not everyone can be a Michael Owen or Wayne Rooney that takes the world by storm aged 16 or 18. At best we could see Zaha in a United shirt for the next 10 years. Word out of the club is that Zaha is expected to play a large role in the side next year, and if he is ready for that, then great but as stated above, if we don't see the best of him for a year or 18 months then that is fine by me.
You have to develop into a Manchester United player and that transformation takes a while. Zaha will have to adjust to a whole new level of media exposure, training intensity, travel and calibre of teammates and matches.
When it comes to young players I'm a firm believer in careful teaching. Hopefully in years to come Nick Powell, Wilfried Zaha, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will be the future that we hope they will be (and that £47m wasn't wasted). Slow and steady wins the race.