It is always disappointing to see a young player diminish their opportunities because of their off-field problems. That seemed to have happened when Ravel Morrison - a very highly-rated youngster - left Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United after failing to keep out of trouble.
Quoted in the Daily Telegraph, Ferguson said to West Ham manager Sam Allardyce at the time: “I hope you can sort him out, because if you can he’ll be a genius.”
That is high praise indeed from a man who has overseen the development of players such as Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo from gifted youngsters into footballing maestros.
West Ham's manager does seem to have curbed Morrison's darker side. After a season-long loan move to Birmingham, where Allardyce sent him to "reflect on what exactly it takes to be a player on a week in, week out basis,", Morrison proved his value upon returning to West Ham.
The young player has been very impressive this season in the Premier League, scoring two goals in four starts. His goal in the crazy 3-0 victory over Tottenham on Sunday was a sight to behold. Having picked the ball up inside his own half, the player saw off challenges from Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson before lifting the ball over Hugo Lloris after the keeper had made himself as obtrusive as possible.
The question surrounding an Old Trafford return now surely beckons though as Morrison is exactly the kind of player that United are now looking for. Failures to recruit the type of player that they needed in the summer have left them relying on the individual brilliance of youngsters such as Adnan Januzaj. They desperately need a creative-midfield player of the ilk of Morrison, someone who is also capable of scoring brilliant individual goals.
Whether or not the youngster would be interested in returning to the scene of so many of his indiscretions, it remains to be seen. However, David Moyes could potentially offer Morrison a place in a team that is in transition, somewhere where he could cement a first-team place.
The issue for United is that Morrison would not cost a lot more than the £650,000 that West Ham paid to take him from Old Trafford. Yet despite the potential cost, his signing could prove crucial to the Champions' future success, especially after a summer in which Europe's major stars rejected a move to the Theatre of Dreams.
Moyes should secure Morrison's return to Manchester.
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