Ravel Morrison, now of S. S. Lazio, was a product of the youth system at Manchester United. At age 14, Manchester United defenseman Rio Ferdinand quoted Sir Alex Ferguson as saying that Morrison “was the best player he had ever seen at that age”.
The English midfielder came up through the ranks with one of the biggest young talents in world football, Paul Pogba but, Morrison was considered to be a greater talent than his French team mate.
Unfortunately, Morrison’s personal life greatly hindered his progress at Manchester United. Several of pitch incidents and his general poor attitude led to him leaving Old Trafford.
Manchester United ended up letting Ravel Morrison go to West Ham United in 2012, where Sam Allardyce would hope to reform the top prospect.
Now playing his football in Italy, Ravel has revealed elements of his time at United, and regrets not taking his big opportunity.
Speaking to SunSport, Ravel Morrison said:
“When people think of my name, they think, ‘He’s young and trouble.’ That is what’s labelled over my name, trouble.”
“It’s because of my background and the Stretford area of Manchester where I grew up.”
“They look at you and think, automatically sometimes, because you’re from a bad area, you’re a bad person. I’m not trouble. I’m just misunderstood.”
The Englishman was asked whether he thought that Ferguson had quit on him too early, to which he replied:
“No, I have to be honest about this. Manchester United and Alex Ferguson gave me too many chances.”
“I don’t think they would have given any other player the amount of opportunities they gave me. I can only blame myself and not look for excuses.”
“It was more messing about playing computer games and hanging out too much with my friends when I should have been more dedicated to training.”
“I remember my coach, Rene Meulensteen, trying to advise me not to leave when West Ham came in for me.”
‘If you leave the club, it’ll be hard to get back.’ But I was young and wanted to play football.”
“I would have done things differently if I was in that situation now. But it’s done now and there’s no going back. All I can do is look forward.”
In his second novel Leading, Sir Alex Ferguson has stated that it was very sad to see Morrison’s talent wasted due to his personal life.
The legendary manager wrote:
“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.”
Now 22, Ravel Morrison claims that he’s enjoying his football in Italy and it seems to have helped him mature. This season, Morrison has made 4 substitute appearances for Lazio.