Football’s forgotten ‘genius’ Ravel Morrison still has time to show the world what he is all about

As a youth player, Sir Alex Ferguson described him as ‘the best player you’ll ever see’.

He even said he was better than the likes of Giggs and Scholes, and even last year, after many failed moves, his then manager Chris Wilder said a run of games and he’d be worth £60 million.

But ten years on since people first heard the name Ravel Morrison, many football fans are still scratching their heads thinking ‘what has he ever done’.

Well, in terms of statistics, he has only started and finished a senior game 52 times in the last decade.

So that sums Morrison’s career up pretty much.

At 27, after a raft of clubs where he has failed to make over 30 appearances for any of them, you’d think he was on the scrapheap.

At an age where he should be in his prime, that is a sad thought.

But he is far from on the scrap heap. He may be a free agent, but as Daniel Taylor revealed in The Athletic earlier this summer, scores of clubs are still clambering for his signature.

We all want to see the real Ravel Morrison one day. The one we were told was like Gazza, and had the potential to be one of the world’s best.

But apart from a blistering spell for West Ham in 2013, we’ve rarely seen anything that lives up to the type.

As Taylor explained in his deep and well researched article, your average football fan would call Morrison a thug, or a trouble maker, or someone who wasted his career.

He may fall into some of those categories, but there is more to the man who is still held in high regard by many clubs he played for.

He was well known for turning up late to training, but that was countered by the fact almost every club said he was as polite as they come, dispelling the myth that he was some kind of thug.

His tough upbringing and brushes with the law are well documented.

The latter led to fingers being pointed at Manchester United for not looking after the youngster properly.

He was diagnosed with ADHD and it was alleged he wasn’t taking his medication because it would put him in breach of anti doping rules.

So it was a toss up, between the well being of the player and his professional career.

From West Ham he was farmed out on loan before spending four years at Lazio.

Loan spells around the world followed before he ended up back in England with Sheffield United last season.

He wasn’t booted out of the door at the Blades, but he didn’t really fit into their plans.

His latest spell in Holland has now come to an end and at the age of 27, Morrison, the man tipped to be England’s brightest star, is without a club.

It is a sorry state of affairs, a sad case. Was he mismanaged, not guided properly, or does he have to take the responsibility on his shoulders?

On the accounts and evidence you have to say there is partial blame in all corners.

If this player was as talented as we were all told in 2010, why was he not protected more than others?

Some players can deal with stardom, others can’t and others need help. Maybe Morrison fell into that latter category.

Watch his clips or best bits and you’ll see what an exceptional talent he is.

Will he ever hit the heights we were told he would? Judging on previous, probably not.

Is there still time to show the world what he is capable of? Absolutely.

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