Football is full of examples where a young player seemingly had the world at their feet, but their mentality was all wrong and the talent was eventually wasted.
We constantly hear from anyone associated with Man United that Ravel Morrison was one of the best players they’ve ever had in the youth team, and it seems like Jesse Lingard is the latest to make that suggestion.
He was asked by Stretty News about the best players he’d played with in the youth team, and two names came up:
“I’d probably say Ravel Morrison or Paul Pogba. Ravel was technical, a real natural with dribbling and shooting ability. He had everything in his locker.”
“I know Paul since he was 16 and he was big at that age. He’s been maturing each year and you could see what type of player he would turn out to be — winning trophies like the World Cup, so I’d probably put those two up there.”
Those two examples show how differently things can go for a talented youngster, and often it’s the mentality that can make the difference.
Pogba made the decision to leave Man United at a young age to get more first team football, and he handled the pressure of playing for Juventus and becoming a star.
He’s now a World Cup winner and widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, but the situation with Ravel is very different.
He never actually played a league game for Man United and his loan spell with Middlesbrough this season was his 11th different senior club, and it’s hard to see where he goes from here.
Having a professional mindset is often overlooked in younger players, but this is a clear example of how important it can be.