Ravel Morrison's free summer is confirmation of his fall from grace

England V Brazil

Former Manchester United youngster Ravel Morrison, contracted to West Ham, should be reflecting on his lack of international involvement this summer.

Ravel Morrison was described as Manchester United's most technically gifted youngster since Paul Scholes, but he was sold by United in January 2012 after pushing Sir Alex Ferguson to the limit.

His wayward attitude and stalling over a new deal saw the Red Devils sell him to West Ham, where he struggled to break into the team.

Sam Allardyce then decided to ship him off to Birmingham on loan, where after a slow start in the Championship he began to pick up some form, much so that City boss Lee Clark has even confirmed he would welcome the attacking midfielder back next season.

His numbers of three goals and assists were hardly spectacular, and West Ham may well seek to send him back to Birmingham where he was at least playing regularly and hope next season is an upwards curve for him.

Morrison re-tweeted a message on Twitter this week which read: Just because the past didn't turn out like you wanted it to, doesn't mean your future can't be better than you ever imagined.

And that may well be apt for him, but where he should be concerned right now is the present, and his omission from this summer's international squads.

England's under-21 side travel to Israel for the European Championships, while the under-20 team will compete in the World Cup in Turkey.

Morrison, 20, is eligible for selection for both, but has been picked in neither. If ever he needed an illustration that he has slipped away from the days he was touted as one of his country's brightest prospects, this is it.

It shouldn't come as a surprise necessarily, for he hasn't featured for his country since 2010 when he was picked for England's under-18s.

But he now needs to use his free summer to reflect, motivate himself and deliver. For it is too late to write him off at just the age of 20.

Morrison's talent has been a blessing for him, but also a curse for the expectation it has placed upon him. That indeed causes this reflection that his predictable omission from both squads is a sad indication that his career has not progressed as he would have hoped.

If he can kick off his season with West Ham with his new positive approach, and get some games for the Hammers in pre-season, it isn't entirely out of the question he can leap into the Premier League next season.

But it's a tough ask, and we would expect Morrison to be back in the Championship next year, and continue the slow re-build of his career, which hopefully for his sake, will eventually lead to his talent being fulfilled.

image: © timbigarelli

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