Ravel Morrison has had a stop-start career to say the least with plenty of troubles off the pitch shadowing a talented footballer. A strong few games with West Ham United last season saw comparisons made with Paul Gascoigne and at one point he was even tipped to make the England World Cup squad.
That all seems so very far away now and reports suggest that West Ham have had enough and are ready to terminate the 21-year-old's contract. The Hammers signed Morrison from Manchester United in January 2012 for a fee around the £600,000 mark. The boy had obvious potential then and it just had to be handled in the right way. Loan spells at Birmingham City, Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City have followed. Whilst the first two were a success, the latter was not and Bluebirds manager Russell Slade said he had no future at the club.
His best spell came at the beginning of last season, when he scored goals against Everton and Tottenham Hotspur. Speaking of the goal against Spurs, manager Sam Allaryce said, "That's a genius goal for me. You'll struggle to see a better goal than that all season".
Whilst the comparison to 'Gazza' seemed a bit premature, the similarity to a current Liverpool player at the moment is obvious. Mario Balotelli has bags of talent but his problems on and off the pitch have stifled him. It looked as if Liverpool had pulled off the signing of the summer when they brought him in from AC Milan, however now it looks as if it has been a catalyst for a dreadful season so far.
Another comment from Sam Allardyce earlier this season summed up Morrison, and if he is willing to knuckle down and focus on his game then he can become a great player. "It’s not that he has to impress me as a footballer, we know about his talent. It’s about leading the talent and himself to a disciplined life in general, it's what needs to happen with Rav. If that happens we’d want him here.”
At just 21, surely many clubs will be willing to take a gamble on Ravel?