David Turnbull seized cameo chance; Celtic fans must see more of him vs Lille

By David Walton

December 7, 2020

Finally, we saw David Turnbull receive a substantial period of time on the pitch for Celtic yesterday.

Unfortunately, it didn’t have the dream ending. Despite coming on for the final 22 minutes of Sunday’s 1-1 stalemate against St Johnstone, Turnbull couldn’t help find a winner as the Hoops slumped to 13 points behind rivals Rangers – albeit with two games in-hand.

However, nobody can say that Turnbull didn’t come on and seize his chance. In the 22 minutes he was on the pitch, he offered so much more than the likes of Scott Brown and Callum McGregor combined.

Notable highlights include his terrific ball over the top of the Saints defence for Leigh Griffiths that should’ve resulted in an effort on goal. He also managed two efforts on goal in his cameo appearance too – the same number as both Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic.

WhoScored gave Turnbull a rank of 6.51/10 for his display, and that’s a fine score for a second-half sub. It shows he made a positive impact even if he didn’t manage to find a winner.

Bizarrely, Neil Lennon stated after the game on Celtic TV that Turnbull “needs to be fitter” along with striker Leigh Griffiths. That’s despite the fact he played five games over the course of August with Motherwell before signing for Celtic.

The cynic in me believes that Lennon simply doesn’t want to drop Brown for any length of time. Whenever he talks about Turnbull he always seems to have some sort of putdown as to why he can’t play regularly.

But you have to take into account the full picture. Brown has been poor all season, and it must’ve took all the strength Lennon had to bring himself to hook him before the hour mark yesterday.

David Turnbull in Celtic training / (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Turnbull looks in every sense like his natural successor, and deserves to be given the chance to show that against Lille in our Europa League dead-rubber on Thursday night. If anything could be labeled a “risk-free” game, it’s almost definitely that one.

It remains to be seen if Lennon gives him his first Celtic start of the season, but the fans were certainly satisfied with what they saw from the ex-Motherwell starlet:



In other news, Mark McKenzie has commented on his long-term future amid speculation linking him with Celtic.