Is Morrison ready to un-Ravel defences?
Ravel Morrison made his first Sheffield United start in their Carabao Cup victory over Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night but can he now push on?
Having enjoyed just 12 minutes of Premier League action off the bench since joining the Blades on a one-year deal, the 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Chris Wilder’s men progressed to round three of the EFL Cup courtesy of a 2-1 triumph at Bramall Lane.
Morrison’s story is a cautionary one. With the world at his feet while on the books at Manchester United between 2010 and 2012, he failed to make the grade.
A number of off-field incidents thwarted his progress and threatened to end his career before it had really started and he wandered from club to club never able to put his roots down.
Spells at West Ham United, Birmingham City, Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City followed while he ventured overseas to Italy with Lazio and Mexico when joining Atlas.
Prior to signing for Sheffield United, the former England Under-21 ace played for Swedish club Ostersunds and he jumped at the chance of returning to the Premier League.
Morrison revealed on Twitter that he has hit “rock bottom” at times during his various court battles but he looks up for the challenge of returning to the top of his game and was lively against Rovers.
Norwood x Ravel 🤝 pic.twitter.com/hbw6ONIgi3
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) August 28, 2019
Many felt it was a risk to sign the controversial midfielder but Wilder has no doubts that the Manchester-born talent will benefit his side.
“I’m really looking forward to having Rav here with us,” he said. “For me, you’ve already seen he’s already going to make a really big contribution for us.
“He’s not far off now. There’s still a little way for him to go. But he’s within touching distance of it now and he’ll bring a lot to the table for us.”
It may take a while before the South Yorkshire faithful see him at his best but there is no question that Morrison has the X-factor that once saw him tipped for full international honours.
John Fleck, John Lundstram, Oliver Norwood and Luke Freeman continue to be above him in the pecking order and the 26-year-old may have to bide his time before he gains regular top-flight exposure.
He is still young enough to achieve all of his ambitions, as long as he listens to the advice from Wilder and his coaches.
“We’ve still got to get on at Rav at times, because of the shape we need off the ball,” he added. “And we’d love to get him higher up the pitch because of what he’s capable of.”
Could his spell in Sheffield finally bring the best out of one of the country’s forgotten starlets?