Ostersund coach David Preece says Ravel Morrison can be a huge success at Sheffield United.
However, he also points out that Sir Alex Ferguson couldn’t get the best out of Morrison at Manchester United. So Chris Wilder has a tough task on his hands.
Morrison came through the Red Devils academy and was described by Ferguson as “the best he’d ever seen” – as Rio Ferdinand outlines on BT Sport.
Yet the midfielder would go onto make just three senior appearances under Fergie before joining West Ham United. Loan spells at QPR and Cardiff City followed, before a frustrating time in Lazio and then a permanent move to Sweden earlier this year.
After a successful trial at Bramall Lane the Blades have handed Morrison a one-year deal. Preece worked alongside the 26-year-old at Ostersund.
“In my 26 years in football, I certainly haven’t seen a player with such finesse and technical mastery. And that’s no exaggeration. Simply put, with a ball at his feet, Ravel’s ability is sublime,” Preece wrote in FourFourTwo.
“Getting the best out of him is more like doing a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded. You know that while it would be brilliant if you were the one who managed to do it, getting there is the real puzzle.
“The Sheffield United manager now has the task of aiming to succeed where the greatest manager of all time failed.”
How Ostersund form can teach Blades about Ravel Morrison
It’s a story that has been true since Morrison first broke through as a supremely talented teenager. He has the ability to be among the very best, but how do you get that out of him?
Well firstly Wilder needs to find the best place to play Morrison. The 51-year-old is likely to adopt the 3-5-2 formation in the Premier League that served him so well in the Championship last season.
And Preece has some advice for Wilder.
“He’s capable of dictating play, so drops deep – too deep – in an effort to create,” he continued.
“In the end he played as a deep-lying midfielder, collecting the ball from central defenders and looking to spray balls forward.
“Should he make his way into the starting line-up to suit Wilder’s 5-3-2 system, playing in the centre of that three-man midfield. With the two central defenders often creating overloads out wide and dragging opposition midfielders from the centre of the pitch, Ravel can revel in the space that creates.”