Zaha was signed by the departing Sir Alex Ferguson from Palace and sent back on loan to Selhurst Park. The 22-year-old only made three appearances under David Moyes before being loaned out to Cardiff City.
His loan travels then took him back to Crystal Palace, and the move was made permanent in January. The twice capped England international is now back to where he started, but Pardew thinks his experience at Manchester United had its cost.
“There are two things with him,” Pardew said. “Firstly, I don’t see him smiling enough and secondly, he takes everything like a massive disappointment. Now that’s a player who has been damaged.
“What I mean by that is if he doesn’t get a pass, he can have a little sulk – not for long, just for a couple of seconds, but that’s enough in the Premier League for something to happen.
“And he does it in training too. I’m saying this publicly because I think it’s important that he understands that he needs to get rid of it.
“He played with a little bit more of a smile on his face and when you do that you can show a bit of exuberance and try things.
“I think the Man United thing came too early for a young player who, let’s be honest, didn’t get enough of an opportunity there. He needs to get rid of it now and move on and build his career again.”
Zaha has scored twice in 22 appearances for Palace this season, and will hope to be in the team against Stoke City at Britannia Stadium on Saturday.