There was a time where Ravel Morrison was the next Manchester United wonderkid on the block.
Blessed with intelligence, pace and a dazzling array of tricks he once wowed Rio Ferdinand to the extent the former England international admitted he would pay to watch him train.
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But now, after a miserable spell with West Ham United, a new challenge in Serie A with Lazio beckons, according to the Daily Mail.
How times change. Trouble off the field, but occasionally magical on it, a player once ahead of Paul Pogba and Adnan Januzaj as the club’s future gem is now destined to leave the country where he was once tipped to rule. Maybe in Italy, the world may see what he is truly capable of.
Morrison started his career at United, fresh-faced and brimming with potential, but misdemeanours and discrepancies outside of the game saw him facing more time behind bars than on the playing pitch.
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Sir Alex Ferguson was a genius but no miracle worker. No matter his experience, or the way his tutelage moulded the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs into true superstars, even he admitted defeat. Tired with his youth product’s constant failure to keep his nose clean, he bid farewell with thoughts of guilt and sadness.
Sam Allardyce was the grateful recipient but, a starring role at the start of last season aside, Morrison’s time in the capital has been similarly disappointing. Life in England has grown so marred by complexities, the Hammers boss has, like Ferguson, decided to cut his losses.
Serie A side Lazio are no strangers to controversial characters. First came Paul Gascoigne, past his best but capable of quality nonetheless, and then the maverick that is Paolo Di Canio. Morrison will be the latest in a long line of names touching down at the Stadio Olympico off the back of difficult spell’s elsewhere.
And how manager Stefan Pioli will be hoping he finally lives up to his full potential. His side are flying high in Serie A, and recently held Roma to a draw in the capital derby to bolster their hopes of securing Champions League football for next season.
Napoli are hot on their heels however, and will be looking to finish strongly in what could be Rafael Benitez’s final season at the club. Failure to lead his side to Europe’s top-tier competition at the final time of asking could see him leave the Stadio San Paolo under a cloud.
Meanwhile both Milanese clubs are also eying a swift return to the big time. AC Milan lost Fernando Torres but brought in Alessio Cerci, whilst Lukas Podolski and Xherdan Shaqiri have both joined Roberto Mancini’s rebuilding task at fierce rivals Inter.