When Sheffield United signed Ravel Morrison in the summer, there were more than one or two eyebrows raised at Bramall Lane.
Blades fans had become accustomed to Wilder signing players who fit his ethos. Hard-working players often with a point to prove were what the Blades manager liked to bring in. The latter point was something Morrison fit the bill with.
Morrison had never quite hit the heights many expected him to hit in his career. Despite being lauded by Sir Alex Ferguson for his talent as a youngster, his career had stalled.
However, when Wilder picked Morrison up for nothing after he left Osterunds, there was a smattering of Blades fans who thought this might finally be the time Ravel Morrison proves his worth.
Spells at West Ham and QPR had brought mixed success. His time in Italy with Lazio wasn’t the best, but he did get plenty of game time for one of Serie A’s big clubs.
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But with January nearing, it appears Sheffield United might be preparing to cut ties with ‘Ravel’. Reports have emerged this week claiming the Blades are ready to let Morrison leave, just five months into his deal with the club.
A mix of attitude and misfortune
While reports have been quiet when it comes to Morrison’s attitude around the club, there have been murmurings of things that haven’t impressed Chris Wilder. Of course, we don’t know the ins and outs, but those who claim to be in the know have mentioned typical things such as lateness, attitude, and putting the extra work in as things affecting Ravel.
Furthermore, he’s played only 14 Premier League minutes. Those minutes came against Leicester City, while he has also played two League Cup ties against Blackburn and Sunderland.
There has to be some bigger reason why Chris Wilder is not selecting him. Even against Liverpool at home, Wilder opted to go with forgotten man, Leon Clarke, ahead of Morrison.
In recent months, Mo Besic and Ben Osborn have been on the bench. Both of those players are known for their hard work. Both those players are clearly part of the group Wilder so often talks about.
On the other hand, and in defence of Morrison, players like John Fleck, John Lundstram, and Ollie Norwood have been superb. He’s had no chance of shifting any of those three out of the first XI all season.
Talent can’t always outweigh graft
There’s little doubt in our minds that Ravel Morrison is a talented player. He’s clearly got something about him.
But nice touches, flashes of skill, and a decent CV aren’t the be-all and end-all. This Sheffield United team demands more of its squad.
If you don’t put the yards in, you won’t be picked. If you do put the work in, you can be rewarded. Indeed, John Lundstram is a prime example of this. He hardly played last year but went away in the summer and worked hard. He’s now almost indispensable to the Blades cause.
It could have been so much better for Ravel Morrison at Sheffield United. If he does indeed move away in January, he’ll be hoping to finally find a home where he can let his football do the talking.
It appears, on this occasion at least, that not even Chris Wilder could get the best from the former Manchester United man.