Motherwell manager Graham Alexander says the Fir Park club won’t be limited to the UK in their pursuit of new players.
Alexander has been revamping his Motherwell squad ahead of Sunday’s Scottish Premiership opener against Hibs. His transfer business is not complete, the latest signing being Finnish international Juhani Ojala. The 32-year-old centre-back has signed a two-year deal at Fir Park and is being assessed ahead of a potential debut this weekend.
Having played in Finland, Switzerland, Russia and Denmark most recently with Vejle Boldklub, Alexander believes Ojala shows Motherwell are leaving no recruitment stone unturned: “It’s not just the English market that we are looking at. We’ve brought in Ojala from Finland and he’s obviously been around Europe.
“We’ve got an open mind and we’re scouring everywhere that we think that we can entice players from. We will see what happens in the next month or so. We look for certain attributes from certain types of players. We need a strong spine down the centre of the team.
“It’s been a bit of a difficult process to get Juhani but from my first conversation with him, he was so excited about the opportunity. He has captained Finland and played in four or five countries at the top level.
“He’s a character and leader. We’ll see if he’s fit for the weekend. Juhani has been in isolation and it has been difficult for him. But he’s with the group and we’ll assess where he is.”
Motherwell have made nine new signings this summer but Alexander says ‘work’ is far from over, the Fir Park manager keeping an open-mind on potential transfer markets: “There is still a bit of work [to be done]. We are still a bit light in certain areas but we are really happy with our recruitment so far.
“We’ve brought in a real mix of good quality, experience and youth but we are certainly still a bit light. We want to carry, maybe, two or three more players than we first planned because of the issues with Covid. They are not going away. We could lose players at any point through no fault of our own.
“We have to be strong enough to withstand that as the season goes through. We are still looking and working hard. We’ve got some players that we are trying to get over the line. We’ve still got an open mind about what we might find being let go by other clubs. It’s that [waiting on developments in English market] but it’s also the Scottish market.
“As you can see with some of our signings, we are outside the UK market. English clubs start later than us so there are timing issues. Also in Scotland, some players will wait until the end of pre-season and realise that they aren’t first choice at their clubs. That might push people so sometimes it is a waiting game and you need to be ready to pounce.”
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