Ravel Morrison charged with assaulting two women
Midfielder due to appear in court a day after West Ham boss urges him to focus on football
Former Manchester United star Ravel Morrison was due to appear before magistrates today charged with assaulting two women in Manchester at the weekend.
The midfielder, who now plays for West Ham, was arrested on Wednesday and, according to the Manchester Evening News, is being held in custody ahead of his court appearance.
Police were called in the early hours of Sunday after two incidents.
"At about 3.20am on Sunday 27 July 2014, police were called to an address on Alexandra Road, Peel Green, Salford, following reports a 19-year-old woman and a 39-year-old woman had been assaulted," said Greater Manchester Police. "Officers attended and established the young woman had also been assaulted outside a bar in Manchester city centre earlier that evening and a 21-year-old man was subsequently arrested at a later date."
News of Morrison's arrest comes a day after West Ham manager Sam Allardyce urged the wayward star to focus on his football career. "If he gets back to knuckling down, and getting used to the discipline side of the game, then his talents are outstanding," he said.
Morrison did not accompany West Ham on their pre-season tour of New Zealand and Allardyce appeared to have washed his hands of the player. But that was before the Hammers' co-chairman, David Sullivan, made it clear that he regarded Morrison as "part of the long-term future of the club", reports the Daily Mirror.
Whether Allardyce and Sullivan feel the same way now remains to be seen.
The midfielder joined West Ham in January 2012 from Manchester United. Although he had been regarded as one of the best young players to ever come through the ranks at Old Trafford, Morrison failed to break into the first team. Alex Ferguson sold him to West Ham claiming that the player needed to "get away from Manchester and start a new life".
After struggling to settle in London, Morrison appeared to have broken through last season and was even tipped to make England's World Cup squad. But his form tailed off and he ended the season on loan at QPR.
Morrison's arrest caps a grim pre-season for the Hammers, who have lost Andy Carroll for four months with injury and have been criticised for travelling to New Zealand for their summer tour.