The winger was Sir Alex Ferguson's last-ever signing at United, agreeing a move in 2013, before the legendary Scot called time on his glittering, trophy-laden career as a manager.
peaking to On The Judy podcast, Zaha recalled: "I remember I came back after pre-season, they said 'you've got one more session for us to decide'; it was Van Gaal and Giggs as his assistant.
"These were things I didn't even argue with, but it made me who I am now; my confidence and who I am, it just changed me. All of those things I went through.
"They said 'we're giving you this session to see'. So basically I was on trial again. Imagine going back to the team who bought you, and I was on trial.
"The first time when I went there, I got a house, but this time I got a hotel. I just thought get a hotel because I didn't know what would happen.
"That training session, I trained well. I remember (Wayne) Rooney telling me 'you trained well, Wilf'.
"I went to see them in the room and they were just like 'we don't think you're good enough, you can go'.
"This was pre-season, edging towards the new season. They didn't think I was good enough and sent me out on loan (to Crystal Palace ).
"I didn't argue, I was so relieved and felt like 'thank you for telling me straight and letting me restart my career really'."
Reflecting back on his time under Van Gaal, Zaha says he was set up to fail as the Dutchman attempted to play him out of position.
He added: "He gave me two options; you're either a wing-back or a striker. Those positions I'd never played before. It was like I'm being set up to fail.
"This was after coming back from David Moyes era and I was just shattered with how everything didn't work out for me.
"Then I go back, I get either you're a striker or a wing-back - and I couldn't do either.
"I can vary my game now. With years of playing you get experience. You've seen me play up front for Palace these days.
"Back then I wasn't good with my back to goal because I didn't have the awareness. I'd stand on the ball and the defender would poke it away. I wasn't good with that.
"It was like I'm being thrown in the deep end against the maddest teams."
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