This is an excerpt from this week's Claret and Amber Alert, a free Motherwell newsletter written by Graeme McGarry that goes out every Thursday at 6pm. To sign up, click here.

Now that Motherwell are officially safe – and congratulations to Stuart Kettlewell and his team for that – attention can now turn to next season. Or, more accurately, the transfer silly season, which kicked off in fine style last night as Liam Kelly was linked with a move to Celtic.

That’s not to say that such a move would be entirely outlandish, but there would a certain irony to see a keeper that has taken pelters from a sizeable section of the Motherwell support for his performances this term earn a move to the champions, possibly off the back of a place in the Scotland squad for a major tournament.

Whether he goes to Celtic or not – and it would surely only be a good move for him in a financial sense, given he would undoubtedly assume a similar role to what Scott Bain occupies at present -  his departure from Fir Park looks inevitable, despite manager Kettlewell’s rather forlorn-sounding protestations that it is not yet a fait accompli that he will be shopping around for a new number one in the coming weeks.

If he is to leave, then, what will Kelly’s Motherwell legacy be?

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When he was brought to the club, initially on loan from QPR, it was seen as something of a coup. And such were his performances during that spell, the news that Motherwell had managed to secure his signature on a three-year contract was warmly received by the support.

Those years have proved to be something of a mixed bag, I think it is fair to say. At times, he has been very, very good. At others, he hasn’t. His lack of physical stature is a stick that is consistently used to beat him, but I think it is a fair enough criticism when discussing a goalkeeper at the top level.

Undoubtedly, opposition teams have targeted that weakness, and it has led to the concession of some poor goals from Motherwell’s point of view.

Kelly said recently after some poor errors under high balls that he is his own biggest critic, so he will probably agree that he has had some moments to forget this term. The opening goal against Morton in the Scottish Cup, for one, and the corner that flew directly over his head and in against Dundee at Dens Park a few weeks ago spring immediately to mind.

On the other hand, the life of a goalkeeper is that the errors are remembered, while the fine performances are often easily forgotten. And Kelly has had more than his fair share of those over his time at Fir Park.

This season, he was sensational when Motherwell pilfered a point from Celtic Park, saving a Luis Palma penalty and making several other great stops. He was similarly impressive when the long Ibrox league hex was eventually broken, and there have been other fine displays sprinkled throughout the campaign.

And while Kelly has split opinions among the ‘Well support over his time at the club, the one thing we can all probably agree on is that his leadership qualities will certainly be missed, with Kettlewell lauding him today for the way he runs the dressing room.

The traditionalists among the support may not like having a keeper as captain on the pitch, but certainly off the field, he handled the role well. I’ve been in the unfortunate position of having to interview him on more than a few occasions after damaging defeats – he was almost in tears in Kirkcaldy, along with the rest of us – and while you can debate his role in the team being in such situations in the first place, you couldn’t for a moment question how much it all mattered to him. To his credit, he always fronted up.

I think that history will probably be kind to him, and he will be viewed as a good Motherwell goalkeeper over the piece. But it does feel as though a parting of the ways this summer and a fresh start is probably in the best interests of both the player and the club.

It’s just shame that the club won’t be banking a decent transfer fee in return for a full Scotland international to help them in their quest to replace him. And with long-time back-up Aston Oxborough also out of contract, it will be interesting to see what the plans for the goalkeeping position are in the summer.

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Will the carrot of starting the season as number one entice Oxborough to stay? Is he good enough to step into Kelly’s shoes? No one really knows apart from Kettlewell, with his brief League Cup cameos at the start of the season not really enough evidence for the rest of us to go on.

Either way, it would seem at least one new goalkeeper will be required at Fir Park, and possibly two.

If St Johnstone were to go down, then Dimitar Mitov would be my pick from the keepers knocking around in Scotland, with the Bulgarian hugely impressive at McDiarmid Park this term.

It will be easier said than done to land him, mind you. And it might be harder than quite a few think to replace Liam Kelly.