Wayne Rooney has suggested that former West Ham ace Ravel Morrison is the best young player he ever saw, when writing a column for the Times. The England legend saw the youngster come through the ranks during their time together at Manchester United.
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And Rooney claimed that Morrison was better than the likes of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard by a ‘country mile’.
The 27-year-old left Manchester United for West Ham in the summer of 2012 for a bargain fee worth just £650,000 (Guardian).
The mercurial ace thrilled the Hammers faithful, and he was a real fan favourite at Upton Park. His defining moment in a West Ham shirt came when he scored a brilliant solo goal against Tottenham at White Hart Lane during a 3-0 win in October 2013.
But Morrison just wasn’t consistent enough for the east London outfit. His work ethic was questionable at best and fairly often it seemed as though his head just wasn’t in the game.
The 27-year-old eventually left the Hammers to join Lazio on a free transfer in the summer of 2015.
He has since played for Queens Park Rangers, Atlas, Ostersunds FK, Sheffield United and Middlesbrough. But he has struggled everywhere he has been.
And that is a real shame. Morrison had so much talent.
One of the best youngsters of his generation
Rooney told the Times just how impressed he was with the play-making midfielder when he trained with him whilst at Manchester United:
“He was brilliant. He was confident. 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.”
Rooney’s comments highlight just how good Morrison could have been.
Paul Pogba has gone on to become one of the best players in the world. And perhaps if the 27-year-old former Hammers star had more dedication, he would now be considered in the same category as the Frenchman.
David Moyes could really do with a player like Morrison around now. And it could be argued that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could too.