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AN ATTACKING and hugely creative midfielder, Ravel Morrison has often been regarded as a player with incredible ability and huge potential - and now, at the age of 23, he will be looking to unlock that potential on a consistent basis with QPR.
Manchester-born, Morrison came through the ranks at Old Trafford and his precocious talent led then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson to label him as the best 14-year-old he had ever seen.
At 16 he was signed by United as a first-year scholar before being handed his first professional contract on 2nd February 2010 – his 17th birthday.
Morrison went on to make his first team debut later that year in a 3-2 League Cup win against Wolves.
Two more appearances in the same Cup competition followed in the opening months of the 2011/12 season, but regular first-team opportunities were proving difficult to come by and in January 2012 Morrison signed a 3½ year deal with West Ham, who were then in the Championship.
In order to give him more first-team experience, the Hammers loaned Morrison – then 19 – to Birmingham for the 2012/13 season.
He made 30 appearances in all competitions for Blues, scoring three goals, before returning to Upton Park ready to showcase his talents in the Premier League after the Hammers’ promotion via the play-offs twelve months earlier.
And that’s precisely what Morrison achieved in the opening months of the season with a number of impressive displays, none more so than his performance and stunning goal in West Ham’s 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur in October 2013.
He scored five goals in his opening 12 games of the campaign and produced a level of form which had many calling for him to be named in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad.
Despite his impressive form, in February 2014 he was made available for loan and joined QPR until the end of the season, with Rangers looking to make an immediate return to the top flight.
Morrison made 17 appearances for us in the Championship, scoring six goals. His creative style played a key role as we achieved promotion via the play-offs. While he was an unused sub in the final against Derby, Morrison featured in both legs of our semi-final triumph against Wigan.
Morrison later enjoyed a three month loan spell at Cardiff City before joining Lazio on a permanent deal in the summer of 2015.
He found first-team opportunities scarce with the Italian side and will now be looking to reignite his career following his return to Loftus Road.
Internationally, Morrison has represented England at Under-16, Under-17, Under-18 and Under-21 level.