There were more than a few eyebrows raised in the summer when the Blades opted to sign former Man United midfielder, Ravel Morrison.
Morrison penned a one-year deal with Chris Wilder’s outfit after leaving Osterunds. It was a move that surprised many but also had some Blades fans salivating at the thought of one of the game’s unfulfilled talents plying his trade in S2.
Sir Alex Ferguson, as we all know, once described Morrison as one of the most talented players he ever had. Those comments ring true, to an extent. Not to question Sir Alex, but Morrison hasn’t consistently shown that talent at the top level.
Spells with the likes of West Ham, QPR, and Lazio has yielded mixed success. Indeed, it’s probably that spell with the Hammers which gives us the best indication of Morrison’s talents. His manager at the time, Sam Allardyce, lauded some of his performances and moments of magic.
However, we’ve yet to see this at Bramall Lane. In fact, we’ve only seen Morrison for 12 Premier League minutes so far.
What’s holding Ravel Morrison back?
Put simply, Morrison – like so many Blades fans – couldn’t have predicted the form John Lundstram would show this season. Such has been the level of Lundstram’s performances, it’s made him impossible to drop.
Morrison was already well aware he was behind Oliver Norwood and John Fleck in the pecking order. But with Mark Duffy leaving, he’ll have seen an opportunity as one of the midfield three. However, a slight change of shape from Chris Wilder that has seen Lundstram step into the fold, has meant chances are at a premium for ‘Rav’.
Indeed, Wilder has challenged Morrison to get himself in the team. Like other new signings in the squad such as Ben Osborn, Mo Besic, and Phil Jagielka, Morrison will have to prove he can displace on of Wilder’s trusted troops. (Wilder has kept faith with eight or nine of last season’s squad in each game this season).
A chance for Morrison coming up
Despite missing out on the squad completely of late, the winter months represent a big chance for Morrison to stake his claim. Injuries, suspensions, and a heavy fixture list might open the door for him.
The FA Cup will also start for United in January. Morrison will hope to be given his chance here and build on a half-decent showing against Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup earlier in the campaign.
It is, of course, a chance Morrison will have to take. He seems to be enjoying life at Bramall Lane despite the lack of game time and will no doubt be ready to go when called upon.
Wilder will be picking and choosing his squad based on each individual game. In Morrison, he has a player who can unlock the door in tight games. He’s never going to give you the work rate of a John Lundstram but in those tight affairs, especially at home, Wilder might well just put his trust in Morrison.
A lot is said of this being make or break for Ravel Morrison with the Blades. However, it’s not necessarily the case. More importantly, Morrison needs to prove himself a capable squad man and ready to go when United need him. That call might well come in the next couple of months.