2020/21 Season Preview - Motherwell: Strikers To Step Up
The 2019/20 season was a success for Motherwell as the Fir Park side finished 3rd and will now play in European qualifiers. Motherwell have come a long way since Stephen Robinson took over, with the club heading in the right direction with solid and sensible recruitment as well as great interaction with their fan base. For most teams in Scotland, Motherwell are the model club to follow right now with how they have gone about business both on and off the park with the fan-owned club creating something many can be proud of.
Using a good blend of talented players in the Scottish Leagues and youth players, the Motherwell squad is very strong with bright prospects who could bring in good fees for the club. The acquisitions of Declan Gallagher and Liam Polworth have been exceptional pieces of business with the emergence of Allan Campbell catching the eye of many across the country. This coming season, Well fans will be hoping for similar levels of fortune, with the signing of Jordan White looking to be arguably the one needed most.
Motherwell didn't struggle for goals last season but didn't really have a prolific forward for the entirety of the season. Chris Long and Liam Donnelly were the top scorers in the league with 7 apiece, Long the main forward with Donnelly catching up through penalties. 7 goals in a debut season isn't a bad return but is the lowest scorer from any of the top 10 placed teams, level with St Johnstone's Callum Hendry who made most of his appearances of the bench and Ross County duo Ross Stewart and Billy McKay. The goals are more spread out at Motherwell but if the Lanarkshire club had a prolific striker, they could really set a gap between themselves and other contenders for European football.
Playing for Inverness in the Championship last season, Jordan White also managed 7 which may not look too impressive considering Well's current output from Chris Long. What goes more in White's favour is his ability to create and bring others into play that sees him vital in build-up play as well as a threat within the box. White has scored everywhere he has played but has never been offered the chance to play at the highest level in Scotland, despite meriting it with his performances. White is tall in stature but is a lot more than a target man and has quality when the ball is on the deck, which will help the likes of Chris Long and could be the perfect partner for February signing Tony Watt. Watt's pace alongside White's productivity could be exactly what Motherwell need going forward in order to secure third place again. That is also dependent on Watt's form.
The career of Tony Watt has been interesting so far with the striker bursting onto the scene at Celtic and writing his name into history with THAT goal. Since then, though, it hasn't been smooth sailing for Watt, playing for a number of different clubs but failing to make the best of impressions. At St Johnstone, he showed glimpses of the potential he has and must have done so in order to secure a deal with Stephen Robinson's side. Watt's spell at Motherwell could very well be his last chance in order to prove himself at this level with Motherwell potentially the perfect foil for him. A side comfortable on the ball and on the up, Watt has the talent to force his way into this team, it's just a matter of whether he can apply it or not. The prospect of playing alongside Jordan White is intriguing though and one that may get the best out of the striker and make the difference for Motherwell.
This is a big season for Motherwell's strikers, with the return of Jake Hastie on loan and David Turnbull from injury meaning the side will have much more creativity within it. There should be no excuses for at least one of the three strikers to hit double figures in the league this year as they push on again for European football. If the goals continue from all around the pitch then it may not be too big of a deal but a clear constant threat up top could make all the difference in valuable moments. Well struggled for goals in 2020, only scoring more than once in the league on one occasion in a run which saw them unable to break down the leagues weaker teams like Hearts, Hamilton and St Mirren.
Should Stephen Robinson fix the poor run of form the club suffered in 2020, only 2 wins from 9, the club should look forward to another good season. On paper, they have the strongest squad in terms of depth and quality outside the Old Firm, with the loss of Mark Gillespie to the only notable absence this season. The club have added more depth in the form of Ricki Lamie and Scott Fox whilst extending the contract of youngster Barry Maguire who may develop more with squad rotations and the ability to make 5 subs. With leaders in the form of Gallagher and Donnelly, bright stars like Turnbull and Campbell and a decent front line, this Motherwell side could very well produce another successful league outing.