West Ham co-chairman David Gold has hailed the 'genius' of Ravel Morrison, but says how far the former Manchester United tearaway can go is completely in the hands of the young midfielder.
Morrison is fast establishing himself as one of the most exciting young talents in the Premier League, with a sensational solo goal against Tottenham two weeks ago followed by another for England's under-21s.
The 20-year-old arrived at West Ham after Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had given up on the player due to issues with his attitude and behaviour, particularly when away from the club.
Morrison was regarded as one of the finest prospects at Old Trafford during his time in the Manchester United academy, but Ferguson was unable to harness the talents of the temperamental youngster.
The Red Devils' loss, however, has been the gain of West Ham, who sent Morrison on loan to Championship club Birmingham City last season to further his education.
Morrison has returned to West Ham the better for his experiences at St Andrew's, and has now established himself as a regular in Sam Allardyce's senior side, and is the club's leading scorer this season.
The acquisition of Morrison was seen as something of a risk by the east London club, but he is steadily showing why his talent was regarded so highly during his time with Manchester United.
But, says Gold, Morrison has been provided with all the guidance West Ham can give, and now it is entirely up to continue his upward trajectory without combusting in the same manner as the likes of George Best and Paul Gascoigne.
"It’s up to him now. He’s 20 years of age and he can be anything. I truly believe we have a young genius emerging," Gold said, as reported by The Mirror.
"He is such an exciting prospect for us.
"He’s gone past the stage where people have told him you can be a star and it’s now completely 100 per cent in his hands. That happens to a lot of players.
"It happened to Paul Gascoigne and to George Best. It was in their hands. Yes, they need help in their teens. But once they are in their twenties – with Gascoigne, Best and now Ravel – it’s up to them."
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