Wayne Rooney has claimed that former Man Utd misfit Ravel Morrison was a “country mile” better than the likes of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard.
Morrison has long been considered one of the most naturally talented players in the Old Trafford club’s modern history, but he made just three League Cup appearances before leaving the Red Devils in 2012.
The midfielder has been a real journeyman since, struggling to settle at West Ham, Lazio, Ostersund and now Sheffield United, whom he joined last summer and has played just one Premier League game for.
And Rooney is one of many who saw Morrison’s undoubted ability first-hand at Man Utd and claims the now 27-year-old was better than all of his young team-mates at the time.
“I remember watching Ravel Morrison thinking he had everything required for a player in his position,” Rooney wrote in his Times column.
“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. 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.”
Meanwhile, Man Utd’s stance on smashing the club’s transfer record to sign Jadon Sancho has been revealed, while Dortmund teammate Erling Braut Haaland says “the stats don’t lie” when it comes to the England winger’s greatness.
The future of Sancho promises to be one of the major talking points of the summer transfer window.
At just 20-years-of-age, the ex-Man City winger has already established himself as one of world football’s premier attacking threats. Read more…