What Celtic talent Liam Shaw needs next season as tough Motherwell loan nears its end

By David Walton

April 14, 2022

When Liam Shaw went to Motherwell back in January, the goal was simple – first-team minutes before coming back to Celtic and staking his claim.

Shaw said it himself after his departure. The young Englishman held talks with Ange Postecoglou who told him he needed to experience minutes in the Premiership [Daily Record]. The move to Fir Park looked absolutely ideal for that.

Unfortunately, however, things haven’t really worked out. Whilst Celtic have been in the middle of a gripping title race in 2022, Shaw has been struggling to make an impression at Fir Park.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

So much so that he’s only actually started once for the Steelmen since his January exit. Shaw has only appeared 6 times out of a possible 13 fixtures. And to put some perspective on things, only 2 of those appearances have seen him play more than 15 minutes.

Alexander did state after the player entered Fir Park that he wouldn’t just be gifted minutes. That he would have to earn his spot like everyone else [Daily Record]. Since then, however, he hasn’t gone into any detail on why Shaw hasn’t been given more minutes.

In the last 5 league matches, Shaw has only played for a single minute. That clearly wasn’t the plan when he left Parkhead. And even though he’s been in and around the Motherwell first-team camp, it wasn’t what Ange wanted from him.

“Celtic are in a really strong position, the pressure’s all on Rangers” | Jackie McNamara on 67HH

“Celtic are in a really strong position, the pressure’s all on Rangers” | Jackie McNamara on 67HH

Pre-season Celtic impact looks unlikely; Shaw needs immediate loan opportunity elsewhere

The idea that Shaw will come back to Celtic Park and make an impact in pre-season feels extremely optimistic. The idea was he came back a better player ready to show what he had learned from his first-team experiences in North Lanarkshire.

That key Ange requirement of getting more first-team games under his belt still needs to be bet. And considering Shaw is on a long-term contract at Parkhead, we have the luxury of being patient with him.

As things stand, it’s difficult to see how Liam breaks into the first-team in any case. With the likes of Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley, and David Turnbull just some of the names fighting it out, the scale of the challenge is likely too colossal in any case.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

It’s vital that he experiences more minutes in the Scottish Premiership next season. And it would also be ideal if supporters could get a better look at him elsewhere given opportunities will seldom come his way next year.

Keeping Shaw in Glasgow for another campaign is no use. Not at 21 years of age. First-team football at that age becomes a priority. Granted, it remains to be seen what level of interest is out there when it comes to Liam’s services.

But his spell at Motherwell just hasn’t gone to plan for whatever reason. It’s no disaster, but a loan move in the summer is the best thing that could happen to him.

In other news, Chris Sutton’s class 2021 prediction on rival capitulation; tipped Celtic for “special” season