Scottish Premiership: Motherwell preview -Transfers | Key player | Prediction | Will the Steelmen be team to watch?

James Scott should get the opportunity to lead the line this season. Picture: SNS
James Scott should get the opportunity to lead the line this season. Picture: SNS
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Motherwell's summer was interesting. From David Turnbull's on-off move to Celtic to Betfred Cup success. Joel Sked looks at what's in store for the Steelmen this campaign.

Manager

Stephen Robinson, along with assistant Keith Lasley, signed new deals this summer. A move which went down well with Well fans. After a couple of difficult years the Northern Irishman has steadied the ship at Fir Park. This will be his third iteration in terms of squad building.

Last season

The Steelmen couldn't quite replicate the success of the 2017-2018 campaign where they got up in everybody's business and reached two cup finals. They were pushing for top six but they did so in a very different manner to how they reached those finals, with David Turnbull pulling the strings in midfield and plenty of pace and trickery on the wings.

Transfers

IN: Jake Carroll (Cambridge United), Declan Gallagher (Livingston), Jermaine Hylton (Solihull Moors), Christian Ilic (TSV Hartberg), Christopher Long (Blackpool), Christy Manzinga (RSC Chatelet-Fanciennes), Liam Polworth (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Sherwin Seedorf (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Casper Sloth (Silkeborg), Devante Cole (Wigan Athletic, loan)

OUT: Chris Cadden (Columbus Crew), Shea Gordon (Partick Thistle, loan made permanent), Jake Hastie (Rangers), Danny Johnson (Dundee), Curtis Main (Aberdeen), Carl McHugh (ATK), Neil McLaughlin (Edusport Academy), Alex Rodriguez Gorrin (Oxford United), Rohan Ferguson (Linfield, loan), Tom Aldred (Bury, end of loan), Gboly Ariyibi (Nottingham Forest, end of loan), Ross McCormack (Aston Villa, end of loan), Connor Sammon (Heart of Midlothian, end of loan), Liam Brown, Elliott Frear, Christian Mbulu, George Newell, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair

Most interesting recruit

The names that jump out are Sherwin Seedorf and Devante Cole due to their relatives. The former has excited in the Betfred Cup group stages but it is Liam Polworth who should catch the eye. A promising talent at Inverness CT for so long he just didn't quite kick on. Only 24, there is plenty of time yet for him to shine and find a new level.

He is a player who is of Premiership quality and, it can be argued, he had to move on from ICT to give his career that shock; players can get bogged down if they stay at one club for too long.

With David Turnbull on the sidelines, he has been filling that void effectively with impressive performances in the Betfred Cup, driving from midfield and providing that link to the final third. He is a very talented footballer and it appears that the Steelmen are going to be an exciting and attacking team this campaign which should bring out the best in him.

Key player

The obvious answer is of course David Turnbull. But with the playmaker on the sidelines we will switch focus to Liam Donnelly.

The Northern Irishman was brought in last summer but didn't have the most successful season as he was hit by injuries.

Seemingly a centre back, he has been moved forward into the holding role and was perhaps Motherwell's best player in the Betfred Cup. Despite his defensive responsibilities he netted four times.

Robinson said: “People wondered why I signed him but if he can stay fit then we have a great player on our hands as he has all the attributes.

“He reads the game well, is quick, can play with both feet and he has added goals to his game."

What do they still need?

Motherwell seem well set in all positions, certainly in terms of numbers. There are still question marks who will score the goals in the Premiership but as Robinson noted, only players who can improve the starting XI will be welcomed.

The question: Will Motherwell continue to be 'sexy' this term?

'Motherwell and 'sexy' are not terms which go hand in hand, certainly in the eyes of opposition fans who can't shake their up and at 'em style of two seasons ago.

But they evolved last season with Alex Gorrin, David Turnbull, Gboly Aryibi and Jake Hastie. Robinson has recurited in the same mould.

During the Betfred Cup group stages they largely played with an expansive and attacking 4-3-3, packed with pace, verve and football players. Yet, they do have the personnel to switch to a back three which Robinson has had success with.

As always, we need to wait and see how that transfers into the league but the signs are positive.

Any other business

Keep an eye on their goalkeeper situation. Trevor Carson, who has been an excellent servant, has returned to first-team football but Mark Gillespie has kept the gloves after impressing last season.

Prediction

6th

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*Transfers courtesy of Narey's Topepoker