TTU Awards 2012-13: Young Player of the Season
When we announced the winner of the loan signing of the season on Tuesday, friend of the blog and author of The Long Way, A. E. Greb mischievously commented that Wilfried Zaha could perhaps have been in contention.
As I remarked at the time, the Ivorian born youngster would have been a worthy winner of a number of our awards but as it turned out, he was always going to be a shoo-in for the Young Player accolade.
You’ll hear plenty of sour grapes from opposition supporters about Zaha, but, the truth is, he is that damn good. Pretty much every defence in last season’s Championship was torn to pieces by him at least once. Possessing great balance, he can finish, he can cross, and his awareness off the ball improved as the season went on.
He has a petulant streak that needs to be tamed, but he is always aggressive and competitive, unlike the unreliable Adel Taarabt, to whom some have compared him. Zaha’s performances in the play-offs showed that he has the attributes required of a Premier League player.
In a League bursting with young talent, others worth mentioning are Nakhi Wells, Paddy Madden, Kortney Hause, Charlie Austin, Liam Bridcutt, Dwight Gayle, Tom Ince, Jordan Rhodes and Kieran Trippier, these last two also mentioned in our 2011-12 summary.