As Scottish Premiership clubs enter the January transfer window, Craig Fowler looks back upon their business so far this season and ranks every signing out of ten.
Dean Brill - 2
Hasn’t played a second this season. In other articles, I’ve been kind to back-up goalkeepers and given them a rating of 5 for being signed as reserves and doing that job to the best of their ability, i.e. sitting on the bench. The reason Brill doesn’t get such a reprieve is because, with his pedigree, he really should have been pushing Craig Samson hard for the No.1 spot. Samson has been ok, but not good enough that Brill should be completely absent from the starting XI. And having previously been the first choice at ICT, you’d have to expect he’s on a good wage.
Richard Tait - 8
Finally, finally, Motherwell are reaping the benefits of actually having a natural right-back at right-back. Through the years it’s been a conveyer belt of centre-halves, midfielders and, in the case of Josh Law, attackers filing in at the position. This summer, manager Mark McGhee decided to put a stop to that, recruiting the 27-year-old from Grimsby Town, and what a fine decision it’s proved to be. While on the defensive side he has a couple of flaws, his forays up the park have been vital to Motherwell this season. He gives the side some much-needed width and many of Motherwell’s goals have started with him tearing it down the flank.
Ben Heneghan - 7
The centre-back arrived on a two-year deal from non-league Chester in the summer and has proven to be an strong signing so far. Cemented as the undisputed centre-back partner to veteran Stephen McManus, he matches up well physically with opposing forwards and is composed in possession.
Carl McHugh - 4
To this point, this signing has been below par because he’s played only five times due to a horrific head injury sustained against Kilmarnock on the league’s opening day. Now that he’s finally fit again and back in the side, expect him to emerge as one of the division’s better midfielders in the second half. Motherwell have very high hopes for the ex-Plymouth player.
Craig Clay - 6
Though the all-action midfielder really struggled to get to grips with the pace of the Scottish game when he first arrived, his performances have been steadily improving as he’s adapted to his new environment. Expect a better second half of the campaign.
Lee Lucas - 5
Injuries have blighted the Welsh midfielder’s time with Motherwell for the most part, but when he has played (eight appearances in total) he’s largely impressed. His display in the 4-1 win over Ross County was excellent as he dominated the midfield area. He didn’t enjoy a happy ending to 2016 after being shown a straight red card for a wild challenge in the Lanarkshire derby.
Jacob Blyth - 1
Motherwell represented the striker’s seventh loan move from parent club Leicester City. He’s played three times, all from the bench, and he hasn’t been seen since August.
Correction: I’ve since been informed that Blyth joined permanently from Leicester on a TWO-YEAR DEAL! Oh my.
Ryan Bowman - 5
The tall, sinewy striker was added to the squad on transfer deadline day for an undisclosed fee. A long-time target of manager Mark McGhee, initially he replaced Marvin Johnson in Motherwell’s preferred 4-3-3 but the swap just didn’t work. He was a completely different type of player than his predecessor and a formation switch was soon made, with Bowman dropping to the bench. Though it’s not looked like a great transfer so far, the expectation is that he’s a long-term replacement for either Scott McDonald or Louis Moult, and was snapped up while the opportunity was there. This signing gets the benefit of the doubt for now, especially as he adds some much-needed depth at the striker’s position.
Luka Belic - 1
Signed a six-month deal on deadline day, Belic soon returned to parent club West Ham without playing a single game. It’s possible he doesn’t actually exist.