Irish Daily Mail

Rooney vow to unravel the riddle of Ravel

- By TOM COLLOMOSSE

WAYNE ROONEY believes he can turn Ravel Morrison into a Premier League star after bringing the ex-Manchester United wonderkid to Derby on a one-year deal. Now 28 and playing for his 12th club, Morrison has yet to fulfil his potential but gave a glimpse of his ability on his debut for the Rams with a long-range strike to help them knock Salford City of the Carabao Cup — thanks ultimately to penalties after a 3-3 draw. Derby’s financial troubles mean they can sign only free agents but Rooney is confident they have found a gem in Morrison (below), who he knows from their time together at Old Trafford. ‘He has stability off the field,’ said the former England captain. ‘I have seen him staying late at the training ground, helping our younger players. ‘The Ravel I knew at United was a kid. The Ravel I know now is an experience­d player. He has been at a lot of clubs and he has seen how the game works. ‘I have seen a real maturity in him. I have no doubt in his ability or in my ability to get the best out of him. ‘If I can do that this season, it will be very difficult for us to keep hold of him. I am sure there will be Premier League clubs knocking at the door if I get what I want out of him.’ Morrison’s goal was his first in English football for more than seven years, following his effort for Queens Park

Rangers in a 5-2 win over Nottingham Forest in April 2014. When he left United for West Ham in January 2012, Morrison scored an outstandin­g goal in a 3-0 win at Tottenham in October 2013 and it seemed only a matter of time before he would earn full internatio­nal honours. Yet the breakthrou­gh never came and Morrison has never recaptured that form regularly. Earlier this year, Morrison said: ‘If I could go back in time, I would change 90 per cent of my life. I’m 28 but negative judgment still happens now. I’ve become immune to it. It’s a bit draining but it is what it is.’ As well as playing for seven clubs in the English pyramid, Morrison has also spent time in Italy, Sweden, Mexico and Holland. Rooney, who could start him at Peterborou­gh on Saturday, added: ‘Ravel has to score more goals and I have spoken to him about it. I want him on the ball and creating and I want him in the box to score ugly goals. Not every goal can be a

25-yard screamer.’

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