Rio Ferdinand claims Ravel Morrison could have gone on to become one of the world’s most valuable stars if he and Manchester United had handled his situation better.
Morrison was in the same United under-18 side as Paul Pogba, Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard who won the FA Youth Cup in 2011.
He was also said to impress Sir Alex Ferguson more than anyone else in that age group.
Ravel Morrison failed to live up to his potential at Manchester United before leaving in 2012
Morrison posted this picture on social media on Tuesday reminiscing of his time at United
Ferdinand, who was playing for United’s first team when Morrison was in the youth team, said he tried to take the youngster under his wing but wasn’t allowed.
He told the Beautiful Game Podcast: ‘I used to tell him to come to my house but Sir Alex wanted me to step away from doing stuff with Ravel because he felt the club could deal with the situation.
Rio Ferdinand said he wanted to take Morrison under his wing but he wasn’t allowed
Morrison was part of the United side that beat Sheffield United to lift the FA Youth Cup in 2011
‘But this goes back to my earlier point about Gavin [Rose, Dulwich Hamlet manager]. If Gavin was at Manchester United back then then I don’t think Ravel slips through the net, I think Ravel becomes a £100m player.’
Morrison’s behaviour hindered him at United and was believed, in part, to be one of the reasons why he only made three appearances for the club.
Ferdinand added: ‘But there wasn’t someone like that at United then and even now I don’t see people like that at clubs. People from the estates, from the streets with similar backgrounds to these players so they can talk to them.
‘I know Ravel was talking to someone [allocated by the club] that was told to look after him, walking this guy from through the park and telling him what he wanted to hear and then going and doing what he wanted to do. because he could get away with it.’
Morrison pictured out training with former team-mate Jesse Lingard during the lockdown
Morrison made just three appearances for United’s first team before joining the Hammers.
Indeed, it was at Upton Park where he enjoyed perhaps the best spell of his career in the 2013/14 season when he scored five times, including a brilliant solo run and goal against Tottenham.
It is talent Ferdinand believes hasn’t gone away. He said: ‘Ravel’s talent I’ve always said it I’ve never seen a kid of that age [at] 14,15 years old like it in my life, he was different.
‘Even if you see his videos now, he sent me some from training at Sheffield United what he was doing to man was nasty still. He was doing mad stuff. the game comes so easy to him, it’s effortless.’