‘Major disappointment’ for Motherwell with Mika Biereth recalled by Arsenal

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell is dealing with another unexpected twist in his transfer window plans after losing loan striker Mika Biereth.

Biereth has been recalled by Arsenal in favour of another loan move elsewhere, possibly Sheffield Wednesday, to leave Well without their top goalscorer.

The Denmark Under-21 international provided six goals and five assists in 11 cinch Premiership starts and three substitute appearances during a stay in Scotland which was interrupted by a knee injury.

Kettlewell said: “Mika has been recalled. It’s been a difficult one for us over the last 24 hours. It’s a major, major disappointment.

“This was a little bit unexpected. The conversation was that Mika would stay here until the end of the season just last week, unless something really big came on the table for Arsenal that they couldn’t turn down.

“They believe there’s an opportunity to send him to another club that takes him that step beyond where we are just now.

“There’s been a huge thank you from Arsenal on how we have handled the player and the strides he has made over the last five months. We loved working with him, we loved having him in the group but the situation is out of our control.”

The news comes quickly after the major blow of losing Callum Slattery for the rest of the season to a knee problem which the midfielder suffered in training.

Kettlewell admitted that injury had already “massively” altered his January plans before the surprise loss of Biereth.

“Callum has played almost every minute and been a huge player for us,” he added.

“I think for the first seven or eight games of the season Callum Slattery was right up there in the top performers in the division. He has been good in a lot of other games as well.

“That injury was a huge blow for me, especially for Callum, and the club. It starts to point you in different directions and you start to have a look at different types of players that we probably didn’t think we were going to need.

“So that makes it a big challenge because you are another starter down but we are not able to magic up more funds to replace that.”

Motherwell had also seen wing-back Brodie Spencer recalled halfway through a loan spell from Huddersfield and allowed forward Conor Wilkinson to join Colchester, while Pape Souare was released.

Celtic left-back Adam Montgomery arrived on loan earlier this week while Barry Maguire and Nathan McGinley are back from temporary spells and other transfer talks remain ongoing.

“There’s been plenty of conversations, some of them are still spinning and some of them are trundling along, and several aren’t,” said Kettlewell, who remains without the injured Oli Shaw, Shane Blaney and Lennon Miller for Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie against Alloa.

“Other clubs in this division can blow us out of the water for instance.

“There’s plenty of knockbacks and disappointment in there but I do hope we are in a decent position with a couple of players and I would love to think that over the next few days we can try and get some of them over the line.”

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