Ravel Morrison today revealed that he’ll be back in training on Thursday following a groin injury picked up early pre-season.

He’s also recently revealed that he’s been handed the number 14 shirt for the season, which has to be the biggest hint yet that he still has a role to play in the first team.

His off-field antics this summer have been nothing short of a disgrace. The whole court case looming over him is something of a minefield, with only speculation surrounding the real truth behind what happened between Ravel, his ex-girlfriend and her Mum. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that.

But being pictured in an Arsenal shirt has to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve seen a footballer do in a very long time. He knows he’s under the spotlight and he knows we’re not going to take kindly to him wearing the shirt of one of our London rivals. But he goes ahead with it anyway.

Nonetheless, all of the above doesn’t yet warrant the decision to give up on him and get rid. Why? Because I’m a firm believer that he will mature and will become one of England and West Ham’s best players in the coming seasons.

There’s no doubting his desire to stay at the club. He tweeted about his love for the club just a few days ago…

Such an admission just wouldn’t come from a player either pushing for a move away from the club or knowing the club are trying to get rid of him.

It’s still a bit of a mystery as to why he behaves the way he does off the field, but his performances on the field should be the main reason the board and Sam Allardyce put together a new deal for him and a new role for him in the first team.

Morrison’s performances at the beginning of last season were a breath of fresh air amidst the pollution of Allardyce’s one-dimensional approach to tactics.

He played his own game and came out on top in so many of our performances – his role in our epic 3-0 victory at White Hart Lane last October goes down as one of the best individual performances I’ve seen in a West Ham shirt from any player in many years.

So what’s stopping him from replicating such form this season? Nothing. Well, apart from the ongoing dispute about his future between the board and the manager. This cannot be good for him and it cannot be good for us. Period.

However, that fact Morrison has publicly declared his love and thanks to the club, and his excitement at getting back to playing football with West Ham this season, bodes well for both parties.

You cannot deny his talent, and we simply cannot dismiss how important he could be for us next season and beyond.

This is why he must be given another chance at putting things right. Both on and off the field. Because, if we lose him, we may just live to regret it…

Join West Ham World’s new forum – Get involved in the conversation >>