As we continue to look at who could potentially come into the club ahead of next season, one name who can now surely be ruled out is Motherwell’s Liam Donnelly.
The Northern Irishman was fleetingly linked with a move to Parkhead in January after a fine first half of the season at Fir Park. He even came out and stated that the speculation was “flattering” even if he wasn’t taking it too seriously (Daily Record).
At the time, the link between Donnelly and Celtic was eyebrow-raising at best. However, you could see the merit in it to an extent too. Donnelly had bagged 10 goals by that stage and was a key midfield enforcer in getting Motherwell into third position (Transfermarkt).
His goalscoring record was following that of David Turnbull last season, who bagged a stunning 16 goals from a midfield position during the 2018/19 campaign (Transfermarkt).
But it was still no surprise that Celtic went ahead with any move for Motherwell’s Donnelly. He was still getting used to a new midfield position in what was only his second year at Fir Park. He hadn’t truly proved himself.
Season being cut short has robbed him of his chance to impress
Since January, Donnelly’s form has dipped in terms of his end product. From February onwards, he only managed one goal and no assists in seven games.
He also didn’t feature in any of Motherwell’s last two matchday squads due to suspension. Therefore, to say he was in-form would’ve been a flat out lie.
If he wanted to convince both the supporters and potential Celtic scouts, Donnelly needed to turn up the heat again. He had to prove his end product and start getting himself on some more back pages. But his ‘Well side have only won one of their last eight matches. There’s nothing about the midfielder that’s stood out in recent months.
He did manage to bag a brace against Celtic back in August as he started life in the engine room in good fashion. However, he hasn’t managed to prove himself to be any better than what we have.
At 24 there’s still the potential factor. He’s nowhere near the finished article, but even then we have talented midfield youngsters at the club just now in the form of Ismaila Soro and Luca Connell who we should be focusing more on.
Had the season been completed to an end and Donnelly managed another good run of goalscoring and assist-making form, then there could’ve been a discussion to be had. However, he just hasn’t stood out enough since January for this to feel like a valid link anymore.