Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says there was a time when Ravel Morrison was better than Paul Pogba.
All you’ve got to do is look back to 2011 when United won the FA Youth Cup, which was when I first started watching the youth teams.
Morrison was described by Sir Alex Ferguson as one of the most naturally talented youngsters he ever signed, but United lost patience with him after a string of off-field incidents. He’s currently on loan at Middlesbrough from Sheffield United.
“I remember watching Ravel Morrison thinking he had everything required for a player in his position,” Rooney wrote in his column for the Sunday Times.
“He nutmegged Nemanja Vidic three times in the space of a minute in one training game.
“But he struggled with lifestyle and his environment which was sad for him — because I saw Paul Pogba come through, Jesse Lingard, all these players and Ravel was better than any of them by a country mile.
“He’s proof that you can’t escape the fact there are guidelines every player has to obey in professional football.
“Then you think how far you can go by being ultra-professional. Gary Neville, for instance. Gary’s not a great football player but he worked in every minute of every training session and made the most of everything he had.
“Sir Alex Ferguson used to say the hardest thing in life is to work hard every day. Forget all your ability, strip everything back: if you can work hard every day, in whatever job you do you’ll be successful,” he added.
While Pogba has gone on to win the World Cup and several Serie A titles, Morrison has played in Italy, Mexico and a number of different places. A journey man who just can’t settle.
Hard work plays a huge role in the development of a player and Morrison is yet another example of how simply having talent is not enough.
What do you think about Ravel Morrison? United did all they could to help him, just like Fergie would have wanted, but he didn’t mature in time and the boss had to make a call.
He was recently spotted out running with United midfielder Lingard during lockdown — keeping their distance, of course.