2017/18 Preview – Motherwell

A summer of early, shrewd, deals by the Steelmen have left them in a good position heading into the season’s opener this weekend against Rangers. I will now look at the squad they have comprised and their chances in the Scottish Premiership this campaign.

The massive clear-out started when first-teamers such as Scott McDonald, Lionel Ainsworth, James McFadden and Craig Samson left the club – either through being released or by their own choice. Then, Keith Lasley retired to become Assistant Manager at ‘Well too. A big hole to fix with so many experienced pro’s leaving Fir Park.

However, the signings have been impressive so far: Trever Carson, a proven goalkeeper in the English Football League and Russell Griffiths – a goalie who has signed a permanent deal after a spell on loan with the Lanarkshire club last season. The position between the sticks will see healthy competition and this can onnly be viewed as a positive.

By, so far, holding on to Ben Heneghan, alongside the experienced Stephen McManus, the ‘Well have a good solid base to work on. With the addition of Cedric Kipre and Charles Dunne, there is good cover there while Carl McHugh can also fill in at centre-back. With Dunne more naturally a left-back and McHugh an influential figure in midfield, I suspect Robinson will be looking for one further defender to compliment that area of the part.

Looking at the midfield, and it is clear to see that the quality is there. Chris Cadden will become an important player for Motherwell this term, and this is typified by him being given the number 7 shirt. He is seen as a big player under Robinson and when you add his quality to signings Gael Bigirimana and Craig Tanner, then you can see why Motherwell are being tipped to challenge for a top six spot. With youngsters Ross MacLean and Allan Campbell highly though of, as well, then they could also make the step up from Stephen Craigan’s Under-20’s side this term to add further competition to the squad.

Elliot Frear and Ross MacLean seem to be the only out-and-out wingers within the group so far. Cadden can play out wide as well as in the middle, similarly with Tanner, but that area of the park is probably the most bare in terms of numbers. I think another addition in this position may be required for Motherwell to give cover in an important area of the park.

The biggest deal of the summer was retaining, so far, the services of Louis Moult. The striker is the figure-head of the attack and if Motherwell can hold on to him for the full season, I would expect 20 goals from a fully-fit Moult with the service he can expect from the guys we have mentioned above. Alex Fisher is a good signing to provide competition and Ryan Bowman has started this season off well – if he can keep his form up then he can also become a more influential figure this campaign.

Overall, I think Motherwell have added quality over the pitch to give them a competitive squad. If they can add a defender, winger and striker then I can see them in with a good shout of making the top six and having a successful season.

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