Mark McGhee believes Motherwell starlet Chris Cadden has a ‘terrific future’ after penning a new deal at Fir Park.

The 19-year-old has emerged as the latest talent to emerge through the Well youth academy and has taken the Premiership by storm over the last couple of months.

Playing in midfield, the talented teen has been a driving force in Motherwell’s recent run that has taken them striding into the Ladbrokes Premiership top six.

Now Cadden is tied down on a contract extension until the summer of 2018, McGhee is looking forward to helping him fulfil his potential.

“I think his rise has been fantastic,” said his manager.

“He has worked hard to get where he is in such space of time. He has been in the gym, he’s been working in training.

“Chris has applied himself. He’s listened to the coaches, he’s taken advice and has worked for the team.

“He has a great attitude and he has a terrific future ahead of him.

“We are delighted that we’ve got him on a new contract here at Motherwell and we can work with him over the next couple of years.”

He added: “Chris has been outstanding over these last few months.

“Everyone at the club is delighted he has committed to us, as we know there was interest from elsewhere, including England.

“However, the lad is sensible and comes from a good football family who recognise the importance of his development, and that’s what Motherwell FC is all about.

“Chris’ rise should act as an inspiration for all our lads in the Under 20s, all our lads in the Academy or any parent considering Motherwell as an option for their son.

“We’re serious about our new strategy of developing and trusting younger players, and the likes of Chris, Ben Hall, Dom Thomas and others are proving that.”

Cadden could well be a key cog in the Motherwell machine this weekend as McGhee faces a race against the clock ahead of the visit of Aberdeen.

Midfielder Stephen Pearson is out for six weeks with fractured ribs and a punctured lung, while Keith Lasley went off injured during Friday’s 2-1 victory over Dundee United.

It means Cadden is one of the few men already cleared for action to try and halt the title-chasing Dons, and McGhee said: “We have Keith Lasley, Stephen Pearson and Josh Law all injured, and Louis Laing is already injured.

“We need to take stock of that as it can undermine everything you are doing if you have four players like that out.

“I still worry because we can only do as well as we are doing when we have our strongest team out there. We don’t have two teams and I hope when we go into the Aberdeen game these boys are fit and available, but I’m not sure they will be. I’m quite concerned about that.

“It can impact your level of performance and that would be a shame. If that happens, we have others like Dom Thomas, James McFadden and Lionel Ainsworth who are desperate for an opportunity.

“These boys are dying to play and if they do so next week they will have an opportunity.”