In 2009, Ravel Morrison was scouted and signed by Manchester United when he was 14 years old. His natural-born talent was obvious at an early age and stood out from the crowd in the academy. His performances attracted the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson, claiming he was the most talented player he had seen at his age. Even former club legend Rio Ferdinand was a big fan of the prospect.
In October 2010, he made his first senior appearance against Wolves in a League cup game. Around the same period, he played an integral part of United’s FA Youth cup win, the star of the team that also featured Paul Pogba. Together both were touted as the future of Manchester United, but relations turned sour between both players and the club. Whereas Pogba was unhappy at his lack of first team opportunities, Morrison was embroiled in a number of off-field problems. Both were out of contract in the summer of 2012, when Pogba joined Juventus. A few months beforehand, United accepted a bid from West Ham United for Morrision, and much to Ferguson’s regret, he moved to East London. Although Ferguson still believed he was a top talent, he felt he needed to get away from Manchester for a fresh start.
When Sam Allardyce took charge at Upton Park, he immediately sent him on loan to Birmingham City to gain more first-team experience. No sooner had his loan spell started, Morrision fell out with Lee Clark due to his attitude in training, almost prompting the Birmingham City manager to cancel the loan. Morrision would eventually win over doubters in the midlands, helping his side claw back a 3-0 deficit at Millwall and scoring a brilliant looping volley against Hull City. Upon his return to West Ham, Morrision scored on his debut against Cheltenham Town in the League Cup. A few weeks later, he scored a wonderful individual goal at White Hart Lane, carrying the ball from his own half and weaving his way through Spurs backline before dinking it over Hugo Lloris. Sadly, that what would prove to be the peak of his time with the Irons. In September 2014, Morrision was loaned to Cardiff City in the Championship. He produced a man of the match display on his debut in Blackpool, but once again things turned sour. He was sent back to West Ham early when manager Russell Slade stated he had no future at the club having only played seven games.
Surprisingly in January 2015, it emerged that Morrison had signed a pre-contract agreement with Lazio. Once again, hopes were raised when he scored two and assisted two more on his debut for the Eagles, sending fans in raptures. Alas, that bright start would unravel. Morrison barely featured for Lazio and coach Stefano Pioli criticised his lack of effort to learn Italian. Lazio’s director Igli Tare stated that Morrison has undoubted quality and is world class, but is a “little mad”. Twelve months later, he returned to QPR on loan, but failed to impress. Last August, Morrison became only the second English player to play in Liga MX, signing for Mexican side Atlas. While his former youth compatriot Pogba would rejoin United as the world’s most expensive player, the 24 year old continues to disappoint those who once tipped him for greatness.