Football

Former United Wonderkid Ravel Morrison's Career Has Reached New Depths

Former United Wonderkid Ravel Morrison's Career Has Reached New Depths

The curious case of Ravel Morrison continues.

As an academy player at Manchester United, the local lad was considered one of the best talents of his generation. He was more highly regarded than his teammate Paul Pogba, and heralded as United's most gifted youngster since one Paul Scholes emerged from the back pitches of The Cliff two decades prior.

An extraordinary capacity to get himself in trouble off the pitch saw his United career end abruptly; Morrison was shipped off to West Ham in 2012, much to the sadness of then-United boss Alex Ferguson, who wrote of the prodigious youngster in his 2015 book, Leading:

Sadly, there are examples of players who have similar backgrounds to Giggs or Cristiano Ronaldo, who, despite enormous talent, just aren’t emotionally or mentally strong enough to overcome the hurts of their childhood and their inner demons.

Ravel Morrison might be the saddest case. He possessed as much natural talent as any youngster we ever signed, but kept getting into trouble.

It was very painful to sell him to West Ham in 2012 because he could have been a fantastic player. But, over a period of years, the problems off the pitch continued to escalate and we had little option but to cut the cord.

Despite a wondergoal at White Hart Lane and an impressive start to life at West Ham, Morrison's aptitude was still amiss; he frequently skipped training much to the ire of Sam Allardyce, and loan spells of mixed success to Birmingham, QPR and Cardiff followed.

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When his West Ham contract expired in 2015, the former England underage international made a particularly Dream Team-like move to Lazio. It was hoped that the lack of distractions in Rome would finally allow for Morrison to fulfill his other-worldly potential, but he would subsequently make just nine appearances across a season-and-a-half. Former Lazio manager Stefano Pioli - currently at the helm at Inter - criticised Morrison's effort and inability to speak Italian.

Having recently tweeted the word 'January', Morrison's inevitable departure from the Eternal City has now been confirmed. A month away from his 24th birthday, there remains a sense that it's not too late for the Wythenshawe lad to come good. His past and reputation, however, continue to haunt him, and offers were not forthcoming.

On Wednesday night Sky Sports News reported that he had been invited to train with Wigan, who currently languish second-from-bottom in the Championship.

There, Morrison will reunite with his former Man United mentor Warren Joyce, who trained United's reserves when Morrison was making waves in Manchester. However, there doesn't seem to be an offer on the table; Morrison has instead simply train with Wigan while he attempts to find a new club.

Considering his undoubted quality and Wigan's current plight, it's telling that not even Joyce - thus far, at least - is willing to sign him on a short-term deal. And indeed, such a move for Joyce would doubtless present itself as a double-edged sword; Wigan, after all, is just 27 miles outside Manchester and the various personalities who assisted in putting paid to Morrison's once-blossoming United career.

Rather like Kiko Macheda, who found himself in similar circumstances back in Italy last month, Morrison will be required to prove his dedication and quality. The difference for Morrison is that he hasn't been able to do so even once across a six-year senior career, which once seemed destined to take his sport by storm.

SEE ALSO: Six Failed Man United Wonderkids (Not Including Ravel Morrison): Where Are They Now?

Gavan Casey
Article written by
Former handwriting champion. Was violently bitten by a pelican at Fota Wildlife Park in 2001.

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