When Ravel Morrison stormed out of Manchester United as a trouble maker not even Alex Ferguson could control, the general sense at Old Trafford was ‘good riddance.’
But the relief that the teenage sociopath was no longer around to foul the nest was also tinged with the regret that his highly evident talent did not come to fruition at the Theatre of Dreams.
Morrison was regarded as one of the most naturally gifted youngsters to play for United since Paul Scholes came through the ranks.
And so it felt as if the club had somehow failed to get their money’s worth when he left for West Ham with a well-earned bad reputation.
The move to London was not without risk for the Hammers who were paying for a notorious hell raiser, nor for Morrison, who would now be faced with all the temptations on offer in the Big Smoke.
However, after his stunning solo goal in West Ham’s shock 3-0 derby win over Spurs at White Hart Lane at the weekend, could it be that Morrison has matured?
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce seems to think so and has labelled Morrsion a “genius” after he slalomed through the statue-like Spurs defence to score one for the highlights reel.
"It's the genius of Ravel Morrison, that is a genius goal for me and you will struggle to see a better goal this season," said Allardyce.
"He picks the ball up in his own half and heads directly to [Jan] Vertonghen and [Michael] Dawson and slips them two like they weren't there and waits for the goalkeeper to go down. It's a great day for us because in the second half we played extremely well."
Recalling his risky swoop for the youngster, Big Sam added: "Ferguson said, 'I hope you can sort him out because, if you can, he'll be a genius. He's a brilliant footballer, he has top-class ability. He needs to get away from Manchester and start a new life.'
"It looks like it's paid off for us. He [Ferguson] has let Ravel go for Ravel's benefit because he couldn't see it happening at Man United. It was: 'Get him down there and see if you can get the best out of him because you'll have a great player on your hands.'"
Meanwhile, surly Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan, who has no truck with whippersnappers who will not buckle down for the cause, was equally free in his praise for Morrison.
"Ravel Morrison has been fantastic. Last year we had a lot of problems with him ... his lifestyle off the pitch, but he went [on loan] to Birmingham and worked hard. You are now starting to see the player that Manchester United saw when he was younger,” he said.