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Ravel Morrison – from Man United’s wonderkid to FK Osterunds

Atlas v Cruz Azul - Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX
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Ravel Morrison has moved to Osterunds on Thursday and we would like to talk about his (unsuccessful) career.

Ravel Morrison as a youngster was part of the Manchester United Football Academy. He won the FA Youth Cup in 2011 together with Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Michael Keane and was the most talented football player in the team.

He was described as “the best kid you will ever see” by United’s manager at that time, Sir Alex Ferguson.

After turning professional on his 17th birthday in February 2010, the attacking midfielder made his senior debut in October of that year, coming on as a substitute in a League Cup victory over Wolves.

Morrison was expected to have a great future with the Red Devils, but played only two more games for United, before joining West Ham United in 2012.

Ferguson said that Ravel was “a brilliant footballer with a top class ability,” but “needs to get away from Manchester and start a new life”.

But his troubles just started coming around. Two days after he signed his first contract, he was arrested and subsequently found guilty of witness intimidation.

Accused by Ferguson of “unrealistic” contract demands, Morrison hit back on Twitter to deny turning down any offer form United. However, the damage was done and with six months left on his deal, he signed for Championship side – West Ham.

Morrison’s West Ham career didn’t get off to the best of starts. Even before making his debut for the club, the youngster ran into another off-field trouble and had been fined £7,000 for homophobic comments on the social media.

He made only one appearance in his first season and was loaned to Birmingham.

After returning to Upton Park ahead of the 2013-14 season, Morrison made the breakthrough into the first team and began to make an impact on the Premier League.

This was to be quite possibly the best spell of his career, as he scored five times in all competitions during the first half of the season.

Within months Morrison was again out of favor, but for the first time reports suggested he was not at fault for being ostracised after reacting angrily to repeated pressure to change his agent.

He was loaned to QPR and scored six goals in the Championship, finishing the 2013/14 season with a total tally of 11.

Morrison spent the next season in Cardiff, after being sent on loan from the Irons for the third time. With six months remaining of his deal at West Ham, Morrison signed a pre-contract agreement with Lazio in January of 2015.

There was a certain poetry that years after being compared to Gascoigne, the now 22-year-old Morrison would follow in his footsteps to become the first Englishman to join Lazio since his spell in Rome.

Despite a promising start to pre-season, the England Under-21 international failed to establish himself at Lazio amid renewed criticisms of his attitude.

“Morrison has to work harder,” Lazio boss Stefano Pioli said. “He still doesn’t speak a word of Italian and this has slowed his development and his integration in the squad.”

He made only 8 appearances for the club in his first season in Italy and was loaned back to England. His second spell at QPR wasn’t a success either, as he played only five Championship games during the time.

Ravel spent his last season in Mexico and played for Atlas in the fifth loan of his career.  He impressed early on, striking the crossbar with a long-range free-kick in his second start and scoring in his next. In January he netted twice in three starts, but amid more accusations of work-rate problems, he would start only one more game all season.

Another return to Lazio brought about the same lack of prospects and first-team opportunities, but Morrison was given the chance to train with rising Swedish side Ostersunds in February, and it was later confirmed he had signed a short-term deal with the club.