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May 6, 2011

United fear as Morrison due in court

One of Manchester United's hottest youth prospects, 18-year-old Ravel Morrison, is facing the possibility of a prison sentence after he appeared in court charged with assault.

Morrison is highly regarded at Old Trafford, with his profile on their official site describing him as a "supremely gifted talent". He shot to fame with a starring two-goal display to help United overturn a 2-0 deficit to win an FA Youth Cup quarter-final at Liverpool earlier this year but, the day before the semi-final against Chelsea, Morrison was arrested and later charged with common assault and criminal damage after an alleged incident involving his girlfriend.

The forward has been granted conditional bail and his case adjourned to May 25 when he will enter a plea. However, he is already the subject of a 12-month referral order after a separate incident that saw him appear at a Trafford youth court in January.

Morrison is reportedly still in contention to play in the FA Youth Cup final against Sheffield United as the first leg is on May 17 and the return fixture is two days before his court date on May 23.

He made his first-team debut as a substitute in the Carling Cup tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 2010, but United fear that the judgement on the case may rob them of one of their top young prospects.