Filed: Thursday, 5th July 2012
By: Staff Writer
Teenage midfielder Ravel Morrison says that he is finally ready to fulfil his untapped potential.
The 19-year-old England youth international had made just one appearance for West Ham since signing in a cut-price deal from Manchester United last January, when he replaced Jack Collison as an 81st minute substitute in the 1-1 draw at Leeds back in March.
Since moving to London from the North West, Morrison - whose signing was sanctioned by co-chairman David Sullivan - has been dogged by rumours of no-shows at training and bust-ups with fellow players, whilst he was also fined by the FA for comments made on a social network.
Those issues followed a string of problems at his former club which led to his eventual sale and one former Reds player stating privately that, "we did a good job at Manchester United just keeping him out of prison".
However it looks as if those problems might finally be a thing of the past with Morrison appraently having realised that it is time to knuckle down if he is to repay the faith shown in him by West Ham and enjoy a career as a professional footballer.
Having flown out to Austria with the rest of the West Ham squad last weekend, Morrison is understood to have shown a marked improvement in his attitude during the past few days. Speaking this morning, he told followers of his Twitter account that he is both "focused and ready" to force his way into Sam Allardyce's first team plans.
"I am working very hard this pre-season," he said, adding "I need to play this season."
Cited as being as talented as Paul Gascoigne by none other than Sir Trevor Brooking, Morrison has played at international level for England's under 16s, under 17s and under 18s.
Upon his arrival at the Boleyn Ground, Sam Allardyce vowed to do his best to help the youngster turn his fortunes around.
"It's not unusual for me, taking the odd difficult one on but I like high-class talent at a football club if you can find it," he said. "If it comes with a little bit of trouble, then I think you can cope.
"If the lad's doing it on the field then you help him as best you can off the field to make sure he becomes a well-rounded, decent human being and, hopefully, a decent footballer.
"By Alex Ferguson's own words, Ravel is one of the best he's ever had at that age. When Sir Alex tells you something like that then you know [he's a great prospect]."
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