Wayne Rooney has spoken of ex-Academy player Ravel Morrison’s supreme talent — but says he’s an example of a player needing more than just ability to make it as a footballer.
Writing in his Sunday Times column, Rooney recalls Morrison’s performances in training with the first team, and speaks in glowing terms of his impact.
“I remember watching Ravel Morrison thinking he had everything required for a player in his position. 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 points to Gary Neville as an example of how far a player can go with the right attitude. “Gary’s not a great football player but he worked in every minute of every training session and made the most of everything he had.”
Despite criticism of Pogba’s off-field image, he has undoubtedly worked hard and avoided distraction to get to where he is, whereas Morrison’s career has fallen by the wayside.
Rooney isn’t the first ex-United teammate to wonder what could’ve been for Morrison. Just last week, Rio Ferdinand said Morrison could have become a £100m player with the right guidance.
But instead, Morrison is still yet to make more than 29 appearances for a single club, and has spent time in Italy, Mexico and Sweden. Now aged 27, the midfielder is currently on loan at Middlesbrough from Sheffield United.