Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has hailed Ravel Morrison as being miles better than the likes of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard when they were all youngsters.
The trio came through at Man Utd at a similar time, and Morrison looked a hugely exciting prospect even though his career ultimately ended up being a big disappointment.
By contrast, Pogba and Lingard have managed to become first-team regulars at Old Trafford, albeit with mixed success, and Rooney still feels Morrison was a bigger natural talent than either of them.
Writing in the Times, Rooney analysed Morrison’s talent and recalled the time he embarrassed Red Devils legend Nemanja Vidic in training.
“I remember watching Ravel Morrison thinking he had everything required for a player in his position,” he said.
“He was brilliant. He was confident. 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.”
It will no doubt be painful for United fans to think about the player they missed out on, with Morrison clearly having the talent, but lacking the mentality to make it at the highest level.
Rooney’s columns in the Times continue to make interesting reading, with the former MUFC captain showing himself to have a great insight into the game after his superb playing career.