Ravel Morrison was supposed to be one of football’s biggest talents when he broke through the Manchester United academy.
The Manchester-born midfielder turned professional on his 17th birthday back in February of 2010 and made his first-team debut for United eight months later.
However, just less than two years after signing his first pro deal with United, he left to join Sam Allardyce’s West Ham.
Loan spells at Birmingham City, QPR and Cardiff City followed for Morrison, who has now opened up on an emotional period in his career.
Morrison said: “If Sam didn’t offer me that contract in the first place, I’d probably still be at West Ham now.
“I wouldn’t have left unless he didn’t want me to play again. If I’d have stayed on the same contract, I wouldn’t have got nothing else, I would’ve carried on playing and been happy.
“I would’ve played anyway, but he pulled it away in January and then Sam turned around and said: ‘We don’t need you to play anymore, you can go and play elsewhere’.
“Then he sent me on loan to QPR. Then I got back from QPR and I thought that they’ve just been promoted, QPR, done well, I must get another chance at West Ham now.
“I came back and then four or five days into pre-season, Sam pulled me in and told me they’d agreed for me to go to Cardiff. I was like, ‘I don’t want to go’, and he said, ‘you’re not going to get a chance here, you’re not needed at the club’.
“I tried to phone Harry (Redknapp, QPR manager at the time) because they went to the Premier League and I asked if I could come back and he said that they tried to get me back but West Ham weren’t allowing it.
“So, then I had to go to Cardiff and I liked the club – great players and great staff – but it didn’t work out for me.
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“Mentally, I was a bit upset. I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”
Then asked what he was feeling at the time, Morrison replied: “I hold my hands up – when I was younger, I made many mistakes.
“But I do believe my time at West Ham, that wasn’t down to me, I would never have left that club.
“Stuff happens in football, people don’t see what goes on behind the scenes. Football can get you down, football can get you depressed.”
The former England U21 international is now a free agent after leaving Dutch side ADO Den Haag in January.