Once considered one of England’s finest prospects, Ravel Morrison is now 26 and is yet to come close to fulfilling his potential. Morrison’s showings on the pitch for Manchester United‘s academy and for West Ham United‘s first-team were incredible. However, a poor attitude off the pitch has completely stalled the midfielder’s career up until now.
After unsuccessful spells abroad, Ravel has received his biggest chance to prove himself since leaving West Ham in 2015. Newly promoted Premier League side Sheffield United have picked up Morrison on a one-year contract, having impressed manager Chris Wilder whilst on trial with the ‘Blades’. It’s no doubt a risky move. Should it work out successfully though, Ravel may no longer be considered a wasted talent.
Will This Be the Last Chance for Ravel Morrison?
Born in 1993 in Wythenshaw, Manchester, Ravel Morrison was scouted by the United youth academy at a young age. He was highly rated by then first-team manager Alex Ferguson.
Ravel signed a professional contract with the Red Devils in 2009, making his debut the following year, coming off the bench in a league cup tie versus Wolverhampton Wanderers. In 2011, Morrison was the key figure in an FA Youth Cup-winning squad that boasted the likes of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard.
A number of issues off the pitch caused problems between Morrison and his club. With his contract close to expiring, Ravel joined West Ham United in January 2012. Morrison was loaned Birmingham City in August of that year to gain first-team experience.
When he returned to Upton Park the following season, he got off to a great start. The then 20-year-old scored on numerous occasions, his most well-known being a spectacular solo goal against rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Morrison in east London. He started to lose his place in the squad as the season progressed. Eventually, he was loaned out to Queens Park Rangers with three months left.
Ravel Morrison was loaned out yet again at the beginning of the 2014/15 season to Cardiff City. All three of his loan spells weren’t overly successful, with some of his managers raising concerns over his attitude.
With his contract expiring at West Ham, the attacking midfielder would join Rome based outfit Lazio in 2015. Just like at his previous clubs, he failed to make it with ‘Le Aquile’. After three and a half years and a further two unspectacular loan moves, Ravel would leave permanently to join ambitious Swedish side Östersunds FK at the start of 2019.
Return to the Premier League
After five months with Östersunds, Ravel was not given a new contract due to his salary and injury frequency. Manager Ian Burchnall gave high praise towards the Englishman.
Morrison began training with Sheffield United in July and travelled with the Yorkshire club to Portugal where their pre-season camp was located. Gaffer Chris Wilder was impressed enough to offer the 26-year-old a one-year contract, with the option to extend for an extra year.
Wilder said: “Ravel is an undoubted talent and we are delighted that we have put together a deal that suits all parties. I’ve spoken to a number of people about him and it is clear that he has serious ability. We are getting a fantastic footballer with a tremendous pedigree and this is a great opportunity for Rav, we believe we can help him get back to the level he wants to be.”
Morrison himself sounds delighted to have moved to Brammall Lane: “It’s great to be back in England again and to get my career kick-started again. Before I went away [to Portugal], they made me feel very welcome. It was an easy decision to make – the Premier League, a great team and a great manager.”
It’s unlikely that Morrison will earn another big chance if this one fails to work out. It looks like it’s now or never! One of the midfielders best qualities is his dribbling. Part of Ravel’s style of play is to quickly dribble past players before playing a pass or shooting.
As a result of this Morrison is often fouled. The Premier League moves at a very fast pace. If he can adapt to the speed of play he could really become an important part of Sheffield United’s squad.
Problems off the pitch have made more of an impact on Ravel’s career than on it. At 26, he’s no longer a youngster. However, his time away from the spotlight may have helped him to mature and change his ways and antics.
His status as a failure looked set and stone for a while, but should he take his chance with the help of his new manager, Chris Wilder could be the savour of Ravel Morrison.
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