Why Jonathan Woodgate is confident about Ravel Morrison and Middlesbrough's new signings after Sheffield United and Manchester City meetings
Jonathan Woodgate insists he’s done his homework on new signing Ravel Morrison and believes the playmaker will fit straight in at Middlesbrough.
Morrison’s loan move to the Riverside on transfer deadline day marked the player’s ninth club in eight years since leaving Manchester United in 2012.
The 27-year-old joined Sheffield United at the start of the season but made just one Premier League appearance for the Blades in the first half of the campaign.
However, after talking to United boss Chris Wilder, Woodgate says the player’s lack of game time wasn’t down to a bad attitude.
“I do my homework on every single player I have signed, and Rav is no different to anyone else,” said Woodgate. “Everything I was told was very positive.
“When I spoke to Chris Wilder it was very positive about Ravel and what he was like. I tend to, when I meet them face to face, I get a clue to what he was like. He was humble and down to earth, even shy.
Woodgate also arranged meetings with Manchester City representatives back in November before signing Patrick Roberts and Lukas Nmecha on loan – including director of football Txiki Begiristain, academy director Jason Wilcox and assistant coach Brian Kidd.
“When I met Txiki at Man City, about the Man City lads, I got a lot of opinions,” added Woodgate. “I asked Jason Wilcox about Nmecha and Roberts, I asked Brian Kidd about them. Those players are just like Ravel, I treat them all the same before I sign them and after.”
Morrison could make his Boro debut this weekend when the Teessiders travel to Griffin Park to face a high-flying Brentford side.
The 27-year-old has the ability to play in several different positions, but may have to settle for a place on the bench before making his first start.
When asked where Morrison could fit into the team, Woodgate replied: “He can play as a 10, he can play off the left, he can play any positions, I like my players to be adaptable and play different positions.”