What a wonderful five months it has been for Wilfried Zaha, all capped with the perfect scenario he dreamed about.
When the Selhurst Park hero secured a £15m move to Manchester United, Zaha could easily have returned on loan to Crystal Palace with his mind on other things.
He might have had his head turned by the new surroundings he was soon to move into, he might have taken his foot off the gas during the run-in. Far from it.
If anything, Zaha upped his game as he embarked on a personal mission – to get his beloved Palace into the Premier League before he departed for good.
He was every bit as good as his word, and then some, having scored two key goals in the play-off semi finals before earning the penalty which ultimately secured a famous Wembley victory.
The script could not have been written any better for a talented young player who spent ten years at Palace and will be eternally grateful for the start the club gave him.
As match winner Kevin Phillips said after the £120m showdown Zaha leaves ‘with everyone’s best wishes’ and he can now look forward to playing against the Eagles for his new parent club.
Some members of the Palace hierarchy are harbouring hopes United might loan him back again and whilst Ian Holloway would welcome a second Zaha return he reckons David Moyes would be ‘silly’ to agree to such a deal.
Instead of talking about the ifs, buts and maybes, Holloway simply wanted to pay tribute to a gifted young man who was instrumental in making the Palace dream become reality.
"I am delighted for Wilf. He has got us to the Premier League with a wonderful bit of skill. Kevin Phillips stuck it in the net. What more can I say." Not much, other than to wish Zaha well in his new career.
And a final word from the man of the moment himself.’this is a dream come true; it’s what I wanted. Now I’m happy to leave knowing Palace are in the Premier League’. Mission accomplished.