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Rio Ferdinand reveals the best Manchester United academy star he has ever seen

22.77K   //    15 Feb 2016, 17:26 IST
paul pogba and ravel morrison
Manchester United’s academy has churned out a number of talented footballers over the years

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has named Lazio midfielder Ravel Morrison as the best talent he has ever seen coming through the ranks at Manchester United. 

The 23-year-old Englishman looked destined for stardom but problems with his attitude and professionalism stalled the midfielder’s progression to the first team.

He subsequently had unsuccessful spells at West Ham, Birmingham and Cardiff City while he has just played 53 minutes for Lazio in the Serie A this season.

Ferdinand speaking to the Daily Mail said:

“Ravel Morrison is the most talented kid I have seen.”

“Sir Alex Ferguson said 'come and have a look at this kid'. Me and Wazza [Wayne Rooney] walked out and there was an Under-15 or Under-16 game going on. 

“Fergie said he was the best kid he'd ever seen, better than Giggsy or anyone. He was just playing the game as and when he wanted to play. He would slow it down, then speed it up. 

“It tells you something that when they were 15, 16, 17, Paul Pogba and Adnan Januzaj used to look up to him and idolise him. This kid was the gospel. But he didn't have the mentality to cement himself in a team environment.”

Rio Ferdinand still remains hopeful however that Morrison can save his career.

“It's a shame he hasn't had the right people around him,” said the former defender.

“I’d love to have been able to get hold of him now if he was still 15 or 16. Sometimes you've got to let those kind of people find themselves but I'm always available if he wants to reach out.”

Ryan Giggs as next Manchester United manager will be a gamble says Ferdinand

Louis Van Gaal’s position as United manager has come under intense scrutiny in recent times with Jose Mourinho being the favourite to replace him in the summer. Giggs who is currently the assistant manager has also been considered as a potential replacement.

Ferdinand, who played alongside Giggs for 12 years, acknowledges the Welshman would stick to the club's long-founded traditions of playing attractive football and bringing through youth players. However, he also feels that it will be a gamble to make someone so inexperienced the manager of a club of United’s stature.

"Jose Mourinho's name is getting mentioned. If you want someone who has got a career track record in winning in the Premier League and various other countries, then he's that guy," Ferdinand told NDTV.

"But if you want someone who understands the philosophy, whose respectful of the philosophy, who identifies with the fans, knows the place inside out, who's going to be a bigger risk, then Ryan Giggs is that guy."

After United’s loss to Sunderland this weekend, it looks like just a matter of time before there is a new manager at Old Trafford. 

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