Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell believes they can unlock the potential of Northern Ireland defender Kofi Balmer after snapping up the former Crystal Palace man on a two-year deal.

The 23-year-old has agreed a switch to the Scottish Premiership side after being released by Palace following the expiry of his contract at Selhurst Park.

An experienced operator having won 20 caps for Northern Ireland’s Under-21s, and having captained both them and the Under-19s, Balmer will add some experience to the ’Well squad as they look to improve on last season’s ninth-placed finish in the Premiership.

“It’s great to get Kofi on board,” manager Kettlewell said. “There was a lot of interest from other clubs who were looking to sign him so it tells you we’ve got a good player on our hands.

“He has played lots of football for a boy his age but we still think with our coaching, we can get more out of Kofi and make him even better. I look forward to working with him during pre-season and seeing how he gets on.”

Formerly on the books of Ballymena United and Larne, Balmer would win the Ulster Young Footballer of the Year in 2019 and would represent the Inver Reds in the Europa Conference League qualifying rounds prior to moving to Crystal Palace.

An initial bright spell at Selhurst Park saw him named on the bench for three Premier League matches under Patrick Vieira, however he would fail to crack the match day squad under new boss Roy Hodgson and would instead spend last season on loan at firstly Port Vale and then Wimbledon.

It was at the latter club that he was more prolific, notching one goal and three assists in 17 outings for the Dons, and it is that form which caught the eye of Motherwell and earned him a high-profile summer switch.

“I’m so happy to be here. I’ve heard some great things about the club and the fan base. I can’t wait to meet everyone and get stuck into work,” said Balmer.

“I feel I can bring a lot to the team and want to make a real impact in my time here.”