Ravel Morrison charged with assault
West Ham United midfielder Ravel Morrison has been charged with assaulting two women.
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The 21-year-old, formerly with Manchester United, is accused of attacking a young woman outside a bar in Manchester city centre in the early hours of Sunday morning. He is also accused of assaulting the same woman and another 39-year-old woman hours later.
Morrison, from Urmston, Manchester, was arrested on Wednesday and has been charged with two counts of common assault. He is due at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court later on Thursday.
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A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: "At about 3.20 am on Sunday, July 27 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.
"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.
"Ravel Morrison, of Urmston, is charged with two common assaults.
"He is due before Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court on July 31, 2014."
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Morrison was widely tipped to become a Manchester United regular as one of the club's best home-grown prospects in their youth teams. But the midfielder was sold by former boss Sir Alex Ferguson to West Ham for 650,000 pounds in January 2012.
He has since been loaned out by West Ham to Birmingham City and, more recently, Queens Park Rangers.
Despite being touted as a bright prospect at Old Trafford, Morrison only appeared in the League Cup before Ferguson took the decision to allow him to leave.
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce took him to Upton Park but he was soon shipped out to Birmingham on loan, a move that the 59-year-old felt helped Morrison develop his attitude.
Upon his return to Upton Park, Morrison established himself in the West Ham first team and was one of their better performers in the early stages of last season.
He scored a memorable goal in a 3-0 win at Tottenham which was voted as goal of the season by Hammers' fans before a niggling groin injury and a drop in form saw him lose his place in Allardyce's side.
Morrison picked up the first of his four England under-21 caps in a 4-0 win over San Marino in October and was subject to a bid from Fulham in January -- although the offer was rejected. Instead he was moved on to QPR on a loan deal until the end of the season as he helped Rangers to gain promotion from the Championship before returning to West Ham.
Morrison did not travel with the squad on their recent preseason tour of New Zealand as he underwent surgery on his groin problem, training alone at the St George's Park national training base in Staffordshire.
His long-term future at West Ham has again been questioned after the club's co-chairman David Sullivan suggested Allardyce was not keen on keeping Morrison in his squad - even though the board wanted to offer the midfielder a new deal.
But Allardyce came out on Wednesday to back Morrison, if he can prove he wants to make it at the club.
"We thought we'd brought Ravel to the forefront of his abilities this time last year," Allardyce told talkSPORT.
"He had a fantastic preseason and he started the season exceptionally well. I think that drifted away somewhat and he ended up with QPR on loan and ended up helping get them promoted."