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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 28 October 2020

Former Man United wonderkid Morrison signs with Premier League Sheffield United

The 26-year-old last played in the top flight for West Ham in 2014.

Ravel Morrison has signed a one-year deal with Sheffield United.
Ravel Morrison has signed a one-year deal with Sheffield United.

RAVEL MORRISON HAS signed a one-year deal with promoted Sheffield United, and will return to the Premier League following a much-travelled five-year stint away from England’s top-flight.

The former Manchester United prodigy, now 26, was signed by Blades manager Chris Wilder following a trial period with the Yorkshire club.

“It’s great to be back in England, now, [and] get my career kickstarted again,” Morrison said.

“It’s exciting. It’s a great bunch of lads. [They've] all got great ability as well. And the gaffer as well — great gaffer. Helped me out.

“I could tell when I went over to Portugal with the team, everyone’s together. It’s a great team. It was good to go away. Well, before we went away, the first few days I was here, they made me feel very welcome. So when I was over there, it felt like I had been with the team for over a year, now.

“[It was an] easy decision to make. It’s Premier League, you know? It’s a good team and also a great manager.”

Sheffield United boss Wilder added: “Ravel is an undoubted talent and we are delighted that we have put together a deal that suits all parties. I’ve spoken to a number of people about him and it is clear that he has serious ability.

“We are getting a fantastic footballer with a tremendous pedigree and this is a great opportunity for Rav. We believe we can help him get back to the level he wants to be.

He’s done extremely well during his time with us and it was great to have him in Portugal. It wasn’t about him coming and being on trial because we knew about his abilities. Taking him with us was basically getting to know him and what he’s about, what makes him tick and how he integrates with the players. Trips like what we have been on are invaluable for that.

D_mfZKVWkAEYGZ6 (1) Chris Wilder and Ravel Morrison.

Morrison most recently spent six months at Swedish side Östersund who, in spite of his earning the praise of English boss Ian Burchnall, declined to renew his short-term deal due to salary demands and frequent injuries.

Prior to that, the attacking midfielder was loaned out by Lazio to Mexican Primera outfit Atlas, for whom he played 25 times and scored four goals.

The former England U21 international recently declared for Jamaica, his mother’s native country, but on the back of an injury-plagued season was omitted from the Reggae Boyz’ Gold Cup squad despite having made the preliminary 40-man panel.

Morrison was once touted as a bona fide prospect at Old Trafford and one of the most gifted footballers United had produced in a generation. Off-field issues hampered his progress, however, and he was allowed to join West Ham for an undisclosed fee in January of 2012.

Alex Ferguson is said to have told then-West Ham boss and close friend Sam Allardyce of Morrison that he was “a brilliant footballer” of “top-class ability”, but one who needed to “get away from Manchester and start a new life”.

Loan spells in England followed, including, most fruitfully, an impressive 2012/13 season with Birmingham in the Championship.

He scored six goals in 17 appearances on loan at QPR from West Ham a season later, with Allardyce noting: “It’s not that he has to impress me as a footballer — we know about his talent. It’s about playing the talent and himself to a disciplined life in general, is what needs to happen with Rav. If that happens we’d want him here.”

However, while out on a three-month loan at Cardiff City in 2014, West Ham placed Morrison on the transfer list.

An ill-fated spell in Rome with Lazio followed before Morrison went back on loan to QPR and, eventually, Atlas — where he became only the second-ever Englishman to play in the Mexican Primera after Chester-born Antonio Pedroza.

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