Moving from Aston Villa during the January window, Ross McCormack looked like an outstanding signing for Motherwell. He was a bright spark during his first spell in North Lanarkshire. That has been a far cry from what his return to Fir Park has been.
He looks set to never play in claret and amber again, with Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson telling the BBC that the Well “won’t see him any time soon”.
Having made just four appearances this year for the Well, it’s fair to say his signing has been a massive disappointment. It hasn’t affected the team too much due to the emergence of Jake Hastie and an upturn in form, but he could have added a real focal point to Robinson’s front line.
There was once a time where McCormack was a feared striker. After a breakout spell with the Steelmen, the forward moved to Cardiff City. After scoring on a regular basis for the Bluebirds he moved to Leeds United, where he had arguably the best spell of his career.
He netted 29 goals in the 2013/14 season and off the back of that he switched to Fulham for £11 million pounds plus add-ons. The striker then hit the net 38 times over a two year spell at Craven Cottage, earning him another mega money move to current club Aston Villa.
It has been a bit of a disaster, but McCormack’s Fir Park failure really shouldn’t come as a massive shock.
A sad end for McCormack
McCormack may have accumulated £23 million in transfer fees over his past two permanent clubs, but this hasn’t came with the goals he once scored. The fact the forward’s most notable memory with the Villains involves him and an electric fence tells you all you need to know.
After various loan spells away from Villa Park, McCormack eventually ended up at Fir Park. In his first start though, it was clear from minute one this was a different player to the one that had cost Villa £12 million just three years ago.
He looked unfit and out of shape, barely touching the ball in a 2-1 defeat to Ross County, where he was hooked at half time. It was clear from this moment that this wasn’t the happy homecoming everyone wanted for the striker.
McCormack done very little in his next three appearances. Whilst his fitness was very clearly a major issue, even technically he didn’t look as great. His touch was off and the forward struggled to even get a shot on target. His last appearance came in an eight minute cameo against St Mirren in February. It’ll be a borderline miracle if he plays at Fir Park again.
McCormack’s career has been on the decline for years. A fruitful spell in Australia last season seemed to kickstart it once again, but the striker has scored just once this season across spells with Central Coast Mariners and Motherwell.
Everyone at Fir Park was hoping McCormack could revive his career, but it’s turned into a complete disaster. Aston Villa won’t renew his deal which expires in the summer. Now the Steelmen are unlikely to want the striker back.
Fitness seems to have robbed McCormack of a prolonged career. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.