The Curious Case of Adam Morgan

He’s been called “the next Robbie Fowler”. He’s played alongside the likes of Luis Suarez. He’s earned 22 caps for England at youth level. He has over 125,000 followers on Twitter. However, in March 2016, Adam Morgan had his contract torn up by Hemel Hempstead Town.

It’s hard to work out how a talent as promising as Morgan found himself in the Conference South in the first place, although a record of just three starts and one substitute appearance would go some way to explaining Hemel’s decision to allow the striker to leave.

In fact, despite his hype, the 21-year-old has played for five different clubs in his career and only scored one professional goal. So how did he go from being a Premier League starlet to a non-league flop in such a short amount of time?

In the 2010/11 season, Morgan went on an impressive run and scored 18 goals in 16 games for Liverpool’s Youth Academy. It was during that good spell of goalscoring form that Robbie Fowler first commented on the striker, saying that “as a finisher, he is probably one of the best I’ve seen.”

Further eyes were opened when the youngster scored a sublime goal for Liverpool’s under-21 side against Manchester City. The video of Morgan lobbing the City goalkeeper from 45-yards out was a YouTube hit, and also made headlines in the Daily Mail.

Morgan lived up to his praise and popularity for a while, signing a three-year contract extension with Liverpool and scoring his first senior goal in a friendly against Toronto. He even made his debut in the Europa League against Hearts. It seemed that the next logical step would be to get Football League experience.

As young strikers often are, Morgan was sent out on loan to a lower league club, signing with League Two’s Rotherham United for a month. Unfortunately, he only made two appearances for The Millers before returning to Merseyside. It was his first taste of failure.

He got a second chance in the Football League when Yeovil Town snapped him up on another loan deal. After finally gaining a decent run of appearances, albeit without any goals, Morgan signed a two and a half year permanent contract with the Glovers.

Morgan had finally found regular football and Yeovil thought they had uncovered a gem, but it didn’t last long. Disappointed that he had fallen out of the side, the frustrated forward had a bust-up with manager Gary Johnson and was sent out on loan again, this time to St Johnstone.

While it can’t have been convenient to have to move to the other end of the country for a second time, playing in the Scottish Premiership presented a good opportunity for Morgan to finally show what he was capable of. However, yet again, he failed to take the chance and the loan deal was cut short with just five appearances and a red card to his name.

Despite the St Johnstone loan being another example of Morgan failing to live up to his potential, he was given a lifeline when Gary Johnson was sacked by Yeovil and caretaker boss Terry Skiverton gave him another chance. Morgan finally got a goal when he converted a last-minute penalty against Gillingham. As he ripped his shirt off and jumped into the crowd in celebration, it was clear that the goal was a welcome one for Morgan.

Unfortunately, it was marred by more failure, and a penalty miss against Walsall was a partial reason why he was offered a severance deal by the Glovers at the end of the campaign. From there, he joined Accrington Stanley on a one-year deal, with many Yeovil and Accrington fans describing it as his last chance.

In honesty, there are a number of reasons besides Morgan as to why his Stanley spell was another failure. The good form of fellow strikers Billy Kee and Matt Crooks meant that he got limited game time at the Crown Ground, especially with Accrington pushing for promotion, making it hardly surprisingly that his time there was cut short.

However, the fact that a player with so much potential now finds himself without a club at the age of just 21 is more of a mystery. It’s clear from interviews and quotes that his attitude isn’t the problem, although a torrid three years cannot simply be explained by bad luck. Whatever the reason, it’s now hard to see Morgan ever being able to re-start his once-hopeful career.

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