3) Ravel Morrison
The 23-year-old Englishman is another one of the increasingly long line of English child prodigies who never bloomed.
Blessed with blistering pace and dribbling ability, he had United coaches fawning over him and he signed a professional contract as soon as his 17th birthday came round. He represented his national team at every youth level, also winning the FA Youth Cup in 2011.
By the end of 2012, he signed for Sam Allardyce’s West Ham side, going on loan to Birmingham for the 2012-2013 season. There, his attitude problems almost got him out of the team but a top performance against the current league champions-in-waiting, Leicester, seemed to be a turning point.
The following season he was back with West Ham, and in their hat-trick of derby wins over Tottenham he scored their 3rd goal at White Hart Lane – with a delicious slaloming run!
However, rumours of a very poor attitude and off-the-field court cases involving witness intimidation and assault continued to plague the young man’s life. Although nobody ever doubted his talent, he has bounced from QPR and Cardiff to Lazio, where he is now. In all that time, he has only managed 25 appearances and 3 goals – a very poor return from someone Rio Ferdinand described as one of Alex Ferguson’s finest prospects.
Perhaps Sam Allardyce put it best when he said, “It’s not that he has to impress me as a footballer, we know about his talent. It’s about playing the talent and himself to a disciplined life in general, is what needs to happen with Rav. If that happens we’d want him here.”
Morrison had scored 13 goals in 33 games that season but was quickly shuttled out of West Ham that same month. We guess it wasn’t because of his talent.