Replacing the presence David Turnbull brought to the Motherwell midfield was always going to be difficult, but Liam Polworth deserves credit for stepping up to the plate.
The midfielder has been in brilliant form since his arrival from Inverness in the summer. He isn’t scoring on the formidable level the injured Turnbull was last term, but his assist tally has to be admired.
So far he has two goals and 11 assists and is central to many Well attacks. It’s helping drive Stephen Robinson’s men up the table.
Polworth is Motherwell’s creative midfield force
Last season Turnbull was the focal point at Fir Park. He would put himself about in the engine room and when he got the ball he would drive towards goal.
Polworth is doing a very similar job only instead of goals, he’s providing assists. In the league last season Turnbull scored nine and assisted five times in 25 games. This term, Polworth has one goal and nine assists from 17 games.
There’s a good chance that Polworth will reach the same amount of goal contributions as Turnbull did last term when he hits 25 games. Turnbull got plenty of praise and won many admirers and the same should apply for Polworth.
His passing is exemplary. Polworth’s just as good at stringing four or five short passes in the midfield as he is launching one big 60-yard diagonal. The ball always seems glued to his feet when dribbling and his vision is brilliant, seeing things most others on the park wouldn’t.
Not only that but his aggressive nature is good too. With Motherwell’s high pressing style, you need some aggression so it’s a good job he’s got that trait. His faceoff with James Tavernier away to Rangers showed how seriously he takes things.
With Liam Donnelly as the enforcer in front of the back four, Allan Campbell as a box to box presser and Polworth as the technician, Robinson has perfect balance in his midfield.
Polworth’s been a big part of that and it’s only a matter of time before bigger clubs start circling.