Jonathan Woodgate strongly defends Ravel Morrison signing and reveals how he landed Sheffield United playmaker

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate says new signing Ravel Morrison is an 'outstanding player'.Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate says new signing Ravel Morrison is an 'outstanding player'.
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate says new signing Ravel Morrison is an 'outstanding player'. | 2019 Getty Images
Jonathan Woodgate has strongly defended new Middlesbrough signing Ravel Morrison following questions about the player’s checkered past.

Morrison, who turned 27 on Sunday, signed for Boro on transfer deadline day after agreeing a loan move from Sheffield United until the end of the season.

The former Manchester United academy graduate is undoubtedly talented, yet his attitude and mentality has been questioned.

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Boro is Morrison’s ninth club since leaving Old Trafford in 2012, yet Woodgate believes the player will fit in at the Riverside.

“I just think he’s an absolutely outstanding player, and I think we can get the best out of him,” said the Boro boss.

When asked about Morrison’s reputation, Woodgate replied: “People say he’s had issues, but who hasn’t had issues? I’ve had a few myself. It doesn’t concern me one little bit. Go and meet him. I’ll bring in him here, see what you think of him.

“He’s a top lad, a really nice kid. Sometimes the press portray you in the wrong way, and I think that’s happened with Ravel. Listen, we all make mistakes, I’ve done that myself.

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“But he’s a good kid, a good lad. He’ll fit right into the dressing room and I’m really pleased to have him.”

Boro were looking to bring in another playmaker on deadline day after Patrick Roberts was ruled out for six to eight weeks with a hamstring injury.

Yet Morrison has been on Boro’s radar for some time, dating back to December when Woodgate met Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder.

“We were always going to try and bring in another one in that area, and Ravel was always top of my list,” added Woodgate.

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“I went to see Chris Wilder about eight weeks ago. I went down to his training ground before the Forest game, on the day of the game (December 10). Me and Neil (Bausor) spoke to him about different things, different ideas he has.

“I like going to speak to different managers and seeing what I can learn from them. Ravel came into the conversation because I knew he wasn’t playing and I know what type of player he is.”