BBC pundits big up Celtic's Turnbull after nomination; question Patterson inclusion

By David Walton

May 5, 2021

BBC Sportsound’s James McFadden and Craig Levein have been bigging up Celtic’s David Turnbull after his SFWA nomination.

Turnbull was one of four candidates selected for the SFWA Young Player of the Year award. He’ll compete against Hibernian’s Josh Doig, Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson, and Rangers starlet Nathan Patterson.

All four players are tremendous young prospects, but some clearly deserve it more than others. Turnbull had made an incredible impact on Celtic this season and has been the most promising thing to take out of the season. Doig, meanwhile, has shone on a weekly basis in Edinburgh whilst Ferguson continues to carry Aberdeen.

Patterson, however, has only really come into the fore over the last two months at Ibrox. And McFadden and Levein were left bemused with his inclusion after hailing Turnbull. Here’s what both had to say on BBC Sportsound yesterday:

“Special talent”

James McFadden: “Everybody knows how I feel about David Turnbull. I think he’s a special talent – I really do. He’s got the third most key passes in European football which is phenomenal considering he didn’t come into the Celtic team until October. It’s just been unfortunate for him that Celtic have been trophyless this season but i think he’s been a real shining light in that Celtic.

“I think Patterson is an extremely talented player, but he’s got four starts in the league all season. There are other young players who have maybe played more games that maybe you could add. When you’re looking at young player of the year, they should’ve played more games than what he’s played this season.”

Craig Levein: “I agree. He’s a brilliant prospect, but for me he’s not done as much as the other players. Josh Doig has had a full season at Hibs. We spoke at length about Lewis and how he’s matured.

“I do think that David Turnbull is a fantastic player. He had that terrible injury and disappointment of nearly having had the opportunity to go to Celtic and for it to fall through. He’s had a really good season. Unfortunately Celtic haven’t really done what they’ve done for the last seven or eight years. So I think, for me, it would be between Lewis and maybe Turnbull.”

BBC pundits on the money; but nobody has had the same influence David Turnbull has

Firstly on Patterson, McFadden and Levein are spot on (didn’t think I would ever see myself typing that). Yes he has a bright future and has shown himself up well over the last couple of months, but the clue is in the title. Player of the year. Not young player of the past two months.

There are others such as St Johnstone’s Ali McCann who will surely be raising an eyebrow. He must be wondering how he’s not involved in any discussion for the gong. You have to have at least made a substantial impact this season to have merited a place.

That’s what makes Turnbull quality. Some will say that he didn’t break into the Celtic squad until December, and they would be right. However, he’s been Celtic’s main shining light for the last six months. It’s well acknowledged by the Celtic supporters that our season could’ve gone a lot smoother should Turnbull have started regularly from the beginning.

David Turnbull has bossed it for Celtic this season / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The award won’t be determined until the end of the campaign when it’s released in the newspapers. However, despite the impressive campaigns racked up by Doig and Ferguson, you can’t say anyone has had a more impressive year than Turnbull. Not when you think back to the heartbreak he suffered last summer.

You have to take everything into consideration here. Ferguson has had a fine campaign without really wowing. Doig has also been a real class act for Hibs and deserves to be in the mix. But do either come close to what Turnbull has provided for Celtic?

Not really. Hopefully, that’s reflected when the award is given out.

In other news, we take a look at what you need to know about Lukas Provod; the Moravcik-approved Slavia striker.