Dion Dublin believes Wilfried Zaha will seamlessly acclimatise to life at Manchester United - as long as the new recruit adopts the right mentality and attitude to training.
44-year-old Dublin knows exactly how hard it is join the Reds from a lower league club, having moved to Old Trafford from Cambridge United in 1992 after manager Sir Alex Ferguson plucked the towering striker from the depths of English football on the advice of U’s boss John Beck.
Today, Zaha is following a similar path by swapping the Championship for the Barclays Premier League following his recent transfer from Crystal Palace. And when asked what it’s like to move up a division, or four in his case, Dublin was typically insightful in his response.
“It is pretty scary, I won’t deny that,” he told MUTV. “It took me about three or four months to realise that I had moved from Cambridge United, who were in the fourth division, to Manchester United, who were the biggest club in the world.
“Sir Alex was the person who wanted me to sign. He had never seen me play live at all. John Beck sent him a video, he looked at it and said ‘he scores with his left foot, his right foot, let’s have him’. He decided to have a go and that belief in me shone through after two or three training sessions.
“I started to relax and the more relaxed I became, the more my game came out and I started to get more results on the field of play. Players like Paul Ince, Gary Pallister, Paul Parker and Sparky were really kind to me and got me involved. They brought me into their life, which was amazing.
“What Zaha will have to do is find his feet. He can’t go in all guns blazing because you can fall flat on your face against some of the best players in the world. Go in, respect what you are around, listen to the people who will teach you to become a better player, take it on board and he will do amazingly.”
Despite being one of the most exciting prospects in the game, having won the Championship Player of the Year award after helping the Eagles secure promotion to the top-flight last term, Dublin insists the protégée has a lot of