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 By Ben Gladwell

Ravel Morrison praised on Lazio debut for star turn after scoring brace

Ravel Morrison has scored an amazing goal in training for the England Under-21 team.

Lazio's summer signing Ravel Morrison has received rave reviews in the Italian press for his first appearance in a Biancocelesti shirt -- a 14-0 friendly win against Auronzo.

Morrison, 22, scored two goals and set up another in an attacking-midfield role on his debut for the club he joined as a free agent this summer after his West ham contract was terminated in February.

The Rome-based Il Messaggero newspaper waxed lyrical about his inspirational debut.

"He was the player most people could not wait to see, and he did not let them down," wrote their reporter Emiliano Bernardini. "Morrison -- what music. The talented Englishman had the many fans who had come to see him rubbing the palms of their hands after applauding him so much.

"[Lazio coach Stefano] Pioli fielded him as an attacking midfielder, a role he had filled before at QPR. He was immediately the leader of this side. He doesn't talk much, but lets his feet do all the talking. Dribbles, dummies and a repertoire of a top player. He oozes quality and does not spare his unlucky opponents."

Morrison's "delicious assist" for Seydou Keita's goal which made it 2-0 was the "first pearl" of Morrison's star performance. He then made it 4-0 himself before "sending the fans into ecstasy" a few minutes later with his second goal in a one-on-one.

The former England under-21 international is looking to revive his career in Italy and the early signs are promising. He tweeted his delight at opening his account in the win.

Former Manchester United trainee Morrison spent his first two years as a professional at Old Trafford, but was let go after a series of disciplinary and personal problems.

He made 24 appearances for the Hammers but again failed to settle despite flashes of his potential, and spent unremarkable spells on loan at Birmingham City, Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City.

Allardyce, who himself left Upton Park at the end of last season when his contract expired, said of Morrison in January: "It's the old metaphor isn't it -- you can lead the horse to water but you can't make it drink.

"There's only a certain amount of times that you can advise and tell somebody what's the best way forward for them and what they should or shouldn't be doing.

"If they don't want to take it on board then there's little they can do. It's very difficult to sit and watch such a great talent.

"And it just shows how important you are in other areas to make sure you become a top player.

"Talent cannot be the only aspect of why you're going to be a great player. It has to be much more than just the talent.

"And in Ravel's position at the moment the talent is there, he just has to change his whole life and then hopefully somewhere down the line he'll become the player he should be."

Lazio will be involved in a two-legged playoff for a place in the next season's Champions League in August after finishing third last term.


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