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How on earth did Ravel Morrison end up in Mexico?

Sunday 3rd September 2017
Ravel Morrison now finds himself in the Mexican League's depths, with Atlas FC. What exactly went wrong for one of England's most prodigious talents. 

Morrison is striving to salvage his crippled, peripatetic career.
If there was one player from United's youth ranks back in 2010 who appeared destined for greatness, it had to be Morrison. In a team blessed with young talents like Paul Pogba, Jese Lingard and Michael Keane, Morrison was the anointed one. A beguiling playmaker with electrifying feet, surging pace, and an eye for the outrageous, the Wythenshawe-born lad had it all. So much so his coaches dubbed him the next Paul Scholes. Now, Morrison is striving to salvage his crippled, peripatetic career.

His behaviour away from the pitch turned out to be as dark as his performances on it were brilliant. He was once found in a car filled with drugs and guns. Before that, he picked up a caution for assaulting his mother. Shortly after scoring twice in the FA Youth Cup, he was fined £600 for throwing a girlfriend's phone out a window during an argument. Too much snag from just one man. At that point, Sir Alex Ferguson reached his tether's end. A call was made to old friend Sam Allardyce.

It was painful to sell him to West Ham in January 2012 because he could have been a fantastic player. But, over a period of several years, the problems off the pitch continued to escalate and so we had little option but to cut the cord.--excerpt from SAF's book "Leading"

Big Sam promptly admired Morrison's raw talent, accepted he needed regular first-team football, but was wise to the potential headaches. He sent him to Championship outfit Birmingham City. Morrison's attitude didn't change much but he put up a string of stunning displays. Enthused by his revival in the Midlands, Allardyce recalled the player, believing the troubled youngster was at last maturing. There were even rumours of an England call-up.
Then, as is so often the case with Morrison,it all fell apart. Suggestions of poor attitude and indiscipline reappeared. He was sent on loan to Queens Park Rangers. Harry Redknapp helped him to blossom while reigniting the club's faltering promotion push. Morrison even scored twice on his return to St. Andrew's.
He was an unused substitute in the play-off final at Wembley as QPR made it to the Premier League. Hopes that he would seize the initiative after a year of fluctuating fortunes went unrealised. Morrison played seven games on loan at Cardiff before being sidelined then sent back to West Ham early. At the end of his contract in 2015, he moved to Lazio on a four-year deal. Despite agitating to come home almost upon arriving, Mexico was set to be his next destination.

It wasn't as though he had no offers from England. Birmingham, where he practically spent the entire preseason on trial, were reluctant to pay more than a small portion of his wages. Harry Redknapp was familiar both with Morrison's talent and risk.

We made an offer, it was only a very small offer to Lazio because I feel Ravel is not quite where he was at, at the moment.

Today Pogba and Lingard are key cogs in Jose Mourinho's Red Devils team. Keane has established himself as one of the best young defenders in the Premier League. Morrison is scraping the barrel to make a career. As is always the case with prodigious talent unrealised, the 24-year-old has another opportunity to prove he isn't finished just yet.
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 

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