Since West Ham’s away game at Southampton in September, Ravel Morrison has been given a fair run in the first-team at Upton Park.
He held a spot until the home game with Arsenal on Boxing Day as he reported a knee injury to the physio in training on Christmas Eve. Morrison hasn’t played regularly since – in fact, his last appearance came in the 3-1 defeat to Newcastle United on 18 January.
Morrison has certainly impressed in his early days on loan at QPR, scoring four goals in just three games. The question to be posed is should the club play in after the deal expires at the end of the season, or are should they start thinking about cashing in on him? There are arguments either way; recent articles online have given reasons and suggested why the problems might have started for Morrison at Upton Park.
One argument for the reason behind Morrison’s sudden disappearance from the team was to do with a contractual issue involving agents. Morrison currently doesn’t have an agent, but the story suggested that certain senior figures at the club were trying to persuade the player to give the idea some serious thought.
Allardyce, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Adrian, club captain Kevin Nolan, James Tomkins, Jack Collison, Matt Jarvis and Andy Carroll are all represented by Mark Curtis. Morrison seems to have felt that he was put under considerable pressure in training, particularly from Allardyce and Nolan, to join them in being represented by the same agent – he clearly didn’t agree with their opinion, however, as his own feeling was if he did this it could hinder his chances of being in England’s World Cup squad.
For this reason it is possibly hard to think of Morrison returning to Upton Park. As Allardyce was the one who convinced the co-owners to invest both their time and their money in him it wouldn’t be wise to let such a heavy investment, and a player with clear potential, go so soon.
On the other hand, if another club came in for him with a reasonable offer then David Sullivan and David Gold may just consider it. As it stands, the club have a lot of cover in midfield and, whatever happens in the summer, that may be a position they may find a potential replacement in depending on available funding.
There are, of course, just as many reasons why the club should stick with Morrison. Big Sam obviously saw something in him when he brought him to the club, so should the club stay up, Allardyce may se him as an important player for next season. It is also hard to believe that Morrison won’t want more top-flight experience and, as he is currently at a Premier League club, it would be wrong of West Ham to think about cashing in on such a hot prospect right now.
Given the fact that that he’s still very young there are merits in him staying at Upton Park. If he does then the management team have more time to work with him to help him improve as both a player and a team member. Furthermore, he might also be able to win his place back in the future – whereas, if he leaves the club now, other potential buyers may just see him as one for the future or one to pass over.
Morrison is just 21 so, if he puts his mind to it, he has the potential to get better and equally control his sometimes problematic temperament. If he can do all this, which appears to be quite likely, then Allardyce would be foolish to sell him on now instead of waiting to see how his progression goes.
The co-owners trusted their manager when he put the proposition of Morrison to them so they may want to keep him at the club to give him more game time to try and improve where he is. That decision may rest with the youngster, however, dependent on if he wants to return or ditch his time in East London because he feels comfortable playing elsewhere.
Having seen what he can do, many of the fans think he has a great deal of potential for the top level – but the question is can West Ham and Allardyce really get enough out of him to play him at top level? Big Sam must have had these thoughts at the back of his mind when he only sent him to Loftus Road for the remainder of the season.
Whether Harry Redknapp wants to keep him on if Rangers get back up or send him back for West Ham to choose what to do with him remains to be see – but any manager would be mad not to want Ravel in their first team on a permanent basis.