The 20-year-old has struggled to make any impression in Scotland following his summer move from Sheffield Wednesday under freedom of contract. He has featured only twice for Ange Postecoglou’s men in the past six months: a start for a much-changed side in the win over Real Betis last month coming a week before a late appearance as substitute in the scoreless draw at St Mirren that ads up to only 75 minutes of competitive action.
Alexander believes the athletic and aggressive performer “fits the profile” of the types he wants fighting for places in his team – which he is encouraged that Shaw is “motivated” to do following early contact with him. “Celtic obviously see him at some point getting in their first team and they value him quite highly,” the Fir Park club’s manager said. “But they see an opportunity for him to compete and get in our first team. We have made it clear that is what he has to do; it’s not just a shoo-in. I’ve said that to Liam as well and he still wanted to come so that is the biggest thing for me. A player needs to understand that, and all my players know they have to compete to get in that team. No-one is guaranteed to play.
"We are happy with the squad we have but we have players going out of contract soon and we are guarding against something happening with one of those guys. We have also had the covid issue. We had seven players missing and four members of staff in the last week. We have had to look at the squad and make sure we have sufficient numbers to see us through. We are looking for certain players who fit our profile and see Liam as that. It was a quick deal to do with Celtic, so we appreciate that, and he's ready. I see him as a midfielder in one of those central slots. We play with three midfielders most weeks and I think that is where he is best suited.”