Had Ravel Morrison possessed the maturity to match his undoubted talent, then perhaps he might have lived up to his early hype at Manchester United.
He won the FA Youth Cup with the Red Devils in 2011 alongside Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba, who are currently part of Jose Mourinho’s side.
Sadly, outside influences and perhaps a lack of personal responsibility saw him have brushes with the law which destabilized a promising career. He impressed at Birmingham in 2012/13, showing an improved work rate under Lee Clark and helped QPR to promotion the following season. The fact he has since made just 17 career appearances at West Ham, Cardiff and Lazio combined would suggest however, that his attitude problems have resurfaced.
Now at 23, this is perhaps a cross-roads in his career and failure at his next club could send him on a downward spiral. Ironically, he is in a position not dissimilar to the manager he is now training under in a trial at Wigan Athletic. Warren Joyce coached the midfielder to youth team success with United, but since he took charge of the Latics on 2nd November, results have not gone according to plan. His side have taken just five points from 10 games – their one victory coming in fortuitous circumstances at Huddersfield.
Wigan are six points adrift of safety and the ruthless nature of football dictates that if, in his first senior management job, Joyce contributes to a relegation season, he will struggle to get more offers. The team’s recent problems have not been down to a lack of effort as much as bad luck with injuries and perhaps a lack of ability, with Yanic Wildschut the only player providing an attacking spark.
Morrison, if he signs a contract following his trial, and perhaps Sam Morsy, who impressed in the weekend’s win over Nottingham Forest, could be the ones to add some much-needed creativity. Can Morrison save Joyce? He has the ability to, but perhaps needs Joyce to save him first.