In one of the most potent stories about wasted talent in the high-flying world of the Premier League, former Manchester United wonderkid Ravel Morrison has had his contract with West Ham United cancelled.
The 22-year-old moved from Old Trafford to Upton Park in 2012 with the hope that moving away from Manchester would help him leave behind his troubled past and realise some of his vast potential. However, this didn’t happen and it now looks as though he will try to rebuild his career in Italy.
West Ham gave Morrison permission to travel to Rome in order to sign a pre-contract agreement with Lazio, as his contract at the Premier League club expires in the summer. Now the club owned by David Gold and David Sullivan have come to an agreement with the attacking midfielder to terminate his contract.
A statement from the east London club confirmed that he was now a free agent and wished him luck: "West Ham United can confirm that the Club have reached agreement with Ravel Morrison to terminate his contract with immediate effect. The Hammers would like to wish Ravel every success in his future career."
Sir Alex Ferguson saw the potential in Morrison from an early age and the club tried to make things work with him on a few occasions. But wage demands over a new contract and several scrapes with the law contributed to the decision to allow him to leave for West Ham – at the time, Ferguson claimed the youngster was “better off out of Manchester”.
It didn’t work out that way, however, and Morrison made only 18 appearances in three years with the Hammers – a spell that contained a number of loan spells, none of which bore any fruit of good form.
He will now follow in the footsteps of another troubled English star and try to make a success of himself at Lazio, former England international Paul Gascoigne.