It appears that Neil Lennon has been a long-term admirer of Motherwell man David Turnbull. The Hoops agreed a fee with the Lanarkshire club on Wednesday for the teenage sensation who netted 15 goals in a terrific breakthrough season.
However, it’s emerged that Celtic boss Lennon was a fan of the 19-year-old even prior to his Fir Park emergence. The Northern Irishman saw Turnbull play for Well’s under-20s against his Hibernian counterparts and was suitably impressed.
BT Sport pundit and Motherwell under-20s boss Stephen Craigan has recalled how Lennon spoke glowingly about the hot prospect.
He told the Scottish Sun: “I remember speaking to Lenny after the game. He said: ‘I like your No 8’.
“I said David was close to the first team and he talked about how he could deal with the ball. It was just a conversation.
“Neil’s last game as Hibs manager was against Motherwell at Fir Park and who scored the winner? The same No8. You wonder if that started to build in Lenny’s head.”
Funny world of football
Football has a funny way of writing scripts. Turnbull, the man who put the final nail in Lennon’s coffin at Hibernian, is likely to be his first signing back at Celtic.
If the youngster does join then he’ll add some freshness to the Hoops midfield. He’ll also bring some variation to proceedings. Turnbull is a different player to Scott Brown and Callum McGregor. The current Celt he’s probably most akin to is Ryan Christie, but even then, he plays off the right foot rather than Christie’s left.
It will be interesting to see where the likely new signing fits in at Celtic. He played some of his most effective football for Motherwell as an attacking midfielder. He possesses a good touch, energy and a fantastic end product.
His goal record for the Steelmen last season speaks for itself. Turnbull didn’t net his first professional strike until late October but by May he had 15 to his name. To do that as a teenage midfielder at a bottom-six club is pretty remarkable.