Next “Phil Neville” to toughen Motherwell’s brittle spine

Playing in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership offers a stern test to any emerging player, but having been schooled at England’s most successful football club, 20-year-old Liam Grimshaw should be up to the challenge.

This is great news for Motherwell, whose manager Ian Baraclough has secured United’s U21 skipper on a loan deal until January, to pep up his options in the middle of the park.

Predominantly a central midfielder, Grimshaw is very highly thought of at Old Trafford and his versatility is clearly one of his main strengths according to United’s U18 head coach Paul McGuiness.

“I think Liam Grimshaw is one of these players who might be very useful to a squad as he can play in a number of positions,” McGuinness told

“He can operate in front of the back four, in midfield, the right side of midfield, full back. He could be very vital to a squad. Maybe a bit like John O’Shea or Phil Neville, he could be able to do all those roles and the reason he can do it is he’s got a fantastic mentality.”

This adaptability nurtured south of the border is certain to assist the Steelmen in their quest to avoid dicing with the drop again in 2015/16.

Motherwell’s core was far too flimsy last season, leading to the concession of 63 goals, an eye-raising figure only topped by bottom side St Mirren.

However, Baraclough now believes Grimshaw’s presence can really firm up the Fir Park engine room going forward after a mixed start to the campaign, where two wins have book-ended four successive top-flight defeats.

“Although he is young, he has been schooled at an excellent club and he’ll add some steel in the middle of the park,” said the Well boss.

“He’ll compete with the likes of Stephen Pearson, Keith Lasley, Jack Leitch, Jake Taylor and some of our young talent in the Under-20s for a starting spot, which gives us some decent competition.”

Grimshaw could make his Fir Park debut when Well take on Ross County in their next Premiership fixture, which they are priced at 7/5 to win by Ladbrokes.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.