Wayne Rooney Says Ravel Morrison Was Better Than Paul Pogba By 'A Country Mile'
Wayne Rooney is the latest player to back up the idea that Ravel Morrison is the great wasted talent of a generation, saying the former Manchester United academy player was better than Paul Pogba.
Morrison was a member of the United youth team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2011, alongside Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Will and Michael Keane, with Harry Maguire on the opposing Sheffield United team in the final.
The midfielder is often cited as one of the best talents of his generation but things have never worked out for the 27-year-old, who is now on loan at Middlesbrough, and Rooney has said hard work is why he never surpassed Pogba and others.
"I remember watching Ravel Morrison thinking he had everything required for a player in his position. He was brilliant. He was confident," Rooney wrote in his Sunday Times column.
"He nutmegged Nemanja Vidic three times in the space of a minute in one training game. But he struggled with lifestyle and his environment which was sad for him - because I saw Paul Pogba come through, Jesse Lingard, all these players and Ravel was better than any of them by a country mile.
"He's proof that you can't escape the fact there are guidelines every player has to obey in professional football. Some players live right on the edge of them but stick just inside and still succeed. Then you think how far you can go by being ultra-professional. Gary Neville, for instance. Gary's not a great football player but he worked in every minute of every training session and made the most of everything he had. He had a fantastic career through hard work. Full respect.
"Sir Alex Ferguson used to say the hardest thing in life is to work hard every day. Forget all your ability, strip everything back: if you can work hard every day, in whatever job you do you'll be successful."
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Morrison made three appearances for United's senior teams, all in the League Cup, and was rated highly by Sir Alex Ferguson, but was sold to West Ham in 2012.
The Manchester born midfielder had legal issues surrounding his personal life and was accused of stealing teammate Rio Ferdinand's watch, which he denies, though he did admit to stealing another teammate's boots.
Things went well for the Hammers at the beginning of the 2013/14 season when he made 16 appearances and had a stand out performance against Spurs, but he was soon loaned to QPR.
Morrison's career has never taken off since and taken him to Cardiff City, on loan, Lazio, back to QPR on loan, to Mexico with Atlas and then Swedish side Ostersund before his return to England.
He joined Chris Wilder's Sheffield United but made just one league appearance before joining Middlesbrough on loan in January, where he played two games in the Championship before the season was put on hold.
At just 27 there's still time for Morrison but it'll always be a case of what might have been.