The 19-year-old has forced his way into Stephen Robinson’s Motherwell side this term, making 16 league appearances in the forward areas, scoring six in 21 appearances overall.
It’s his first crack at regular senior football and it has set the stage for a big 2020.
A chance to cement himself
This term, Robinson has utilised Scott as both a striker and a winger on occasion. Striker is his natural position though and 2020’s got to be the time for him to stake his claim as Motherwell’s main hitman.
All of Motherwell’s senior forwards, Devante Cole, Chris Long and Christy Manzinga, could be out of contract come the season’s end and Cole’s loan ends in January. The chances of all three of them being at Fir Park next season are slim, opening up more gaps in the Well side for Scott.
If he can prove himself as more of a finisher in 2020, surely Robinson will hand him the chance to become the Steelmen’s top striker, even at the age of 19. Fellow academy prospects in Allan Campbell, David Turnbull, Barry Maguire and the departed Jake Hastie have all made big strides forward under the Northern Irishman.
Robinson clearly has high hopes for Scott too. Speaking with The Times after the teenager’s best performance in claret and amber, where he scored two against St Mirren, the Well boss said: “James Scott is a boy I rate very highly. I’ve asked for more end product from him.
“We need more goals. We need more physicality. But he certainly showed that tonight. James can be anything he wants to be if we can fine tune him and get him stronger. He’s got such raw talent and he’s great to work with.”
Must take Robinson’s advice
For all the promise he has shown, Scott does need more end product if he is to become Motherwell’s top striker. This season it’s been more of a collective effort, but netting between 10-15 league goals will be a likely demand.
It’s a test for him no doubt but one Scott definitely has the ability to achieve. There were thoughts lingering last season that perhaps he needed a loan move. Scott was too good for the Reserve league, but perhaps wasn’t strong enough for Premiership football.
On the evidence of this season he’s proven that on ability alone, he is one of the league’s most promising forwards. Should he add a clinical edge to his game, the 19-year-old will become the latest Fir Park academy graduate to be linked with a move away from Lanarkshire.
2020 will be a big year for Scott as he aims to tie down his status as a Motherwell regular and perhaps become one of their key men in the process too.