“I was at United when he was there, and he was probably the most gifted, the most naturally gifted young kid I’ve ever seen.”
Those are the words of Rio Ferdinand when asked about Ravel Morrison during their time at Manchester United, who at one point in time was rated as highly at the club as Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba. He kept the Frenchman in his shadow when in the United’s victorious 2011 FA Youth Cup side.
Eight years on from Morrison dazzling for United in the FA Youth Cup final, where he scored twice in the 6-3 aggregate win over Sheffield United, the player who Sir Alex Ferguson claimed was better than Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs when they were his age is nothing but a shell of the footballer he could have gone on to become.
After failing to break it into the United first-team and problems off the pitch, Morrison was sold to West Ham, who were in the Championship, for an undisclosed fee at the age of 19, a transfer that greatly excited Sam Allardyce, who admitted later to the Sun via HITC that they had signed a potential £50 million player.
Although he joined midway through the 2011/12, Morrison had to wait it out before making his debut, playing just nine minutes as a substitute against Leeds United in March, which ended up being his only appearance for the Hammers as the club were promoted to the Premier League.
With the club back in the top-flight and Morrison lacking experience, Allardyce made the decision to loan the former United man for the season to Birmingham City, and after a patchy start due to Lee Clark not approving of his attitude, the midfielder won over the manager and fans with a string of good performances.
Upon his return to West Ham, Morrison got off to a dream start for the Hammers, scoring on his debut against Cheltenham Town in the League Cup, and a month later he scored his first Premier League goal against Everton in a 3-2 home defeat.
The pinnacle of his West Ham career, though, would come against rivals Tottenham, where Morrison scored one of the goals of the season as his incredible solo effort rounded off a 3-0 win for the Hammers at White Hart Lane.
Sadly for Morrison and West Ham, though, the derby goal would be as good as it gets for the player.
Lacklustre performances for the Hammers and two unsuccessful loan spells at Cardiff City and QPR saw Morrison agree a pre-contract with Lazio, and although he would score two goals and two assists on his debut for the Italian side, it yet again proved to be the only high point for the playmaker.
Morrison now finds himself in Sweden at Ostersunds after three years of hell in Italy.
West Ham fans, is Morrison the most talented player not to make it at the club? Let us know!
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