Motherwell manager Stuart McCall says Tim Clancy's versatility was the motivation behind the signing of the Kilmarnock defender on a one-year deal.
The 27-year-old Irishman was allowed to leave Rugby Park for free having been considered surplus to requirements.
"After Steven Saunders' injury, it was important we indentified a player who was versatile," said McCall.
"Not only can Tim play at centre-back, but he is as equally comfortable at both left and right back."
McCall has been seeking a replacement since Saunders, who has been used at right-back and central defence, was ruled out for at least six months after picking an Achilles tendon injury while playing for Scotland Under-21s against Norway last week.
Clancy, previously of Millwall, joined Killie in 2007 and made 73 appearances for the Rugby Park side.
But his only outing this season for the Ayrshire side was in the opening fixture against Dundee United at Tannadice in a 1-1 draw on 24 July.
"He's a really good signing, experienced at SPL and has a great attitude," insisted McCall, talking to his club website.
"Anyone who I have spoken to about him always come back with positive feedback.
"He's mentally strong, a steely character and I am absolutely sure he'll be a good addition to the dressing-room."
Clancy had played for Trim Celtic and Belvedere in his homeland before joining Millwall, who at one stage sent him on loan to Weymouth.
The player who also had spells with Walton & Hersham and Fisher Athletic is relaxed about having to switch Scottish Premier League clubs.
"It's all happened so quickly, but I am really pleased to be here," said Clancy.
"I enjoyed my time at Kilmarnock, I've made lots of friends and have some great memories.
"But, for whatever reason, I wasn't going to get an opportunity there, so it was time to move on.
"It's great to get a move to a club like Motherwell."
Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels allowed Clancy to leave despite Ryan O'Leary suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury against Hearts on Sunday that could rule out the central defender for the rest of the season.
"Tim's a victim of being good in quite a few positions, but at centre-back it took a bit from his game," Shiels explained to BBC Scotland.
"Over a short-term situation, Tim could have done that.
"But, to do it week in, week out, I don't think it would have been fair on Tim either.
"So we had to move and bring in a natural centre-back."