David Turnbull's isolation period over; Celtic star should be ready to return

By David Walton

December 2, 2020

Celtic midfielder David Turnbull should be all but set to return to first-team training for the Hoops.

Turnbull has been out for over 10 days after testing positive for Covid whilst on international duty with Scotland under-21s. It was something that left Neil Lennon absolutely furious, labelling the SFA’s protocols “a shambles” (Scottish Sun).

The former Motherwell youngster has missed the games against Hibernian, Sparta Prague, and Ross County respectively – the Hoops have failed to win any of them and have been officially knocked out of two competitions in that period.

But after having to self-isolate for 10 days, Turnbull’s period is now over and he’s free to join first-team training, given that we’re now 10 days from the day it was reported.

Neil Lennon didn’t confirm whether he was able to travel with the team to Italy for tomorrow’s game, but the smart bet would be on him not featuring regardless.

A change of manager could be exactly what Turnbull needs

All of this talk over the last month or so about a new manager at Parkhead will surely have intrigued Turnbull, who has barely been given a single opportunity by Lennon.

So far this season, the former Motherwell starlet has only been given two starts to his name, with the rest of his four appearances coming in late cameos (Transfermarkt).

What’s even more ironic is the fact that the central midfield area is probably our most stale position. Whilst Scott Brown and Callum McGregor are, at their core, terrific footballers – this is a combination that just isn’t working.

Celtic midfielder David Turnbull / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Brown especially simply hasn’t been dropped anywhere near enough for the lack of quality performances he’s putting in. And even when Lennon is trying to mix it up in the middle, he’s bringing in the underperforming Olivier Ntcham. Turnbull’s entitled to wonder what he’s got to do to be given a shot here.

Had Celtic decided to change manager for the foreseeable future, you can’t see that being a decision that would’ve overly upset the ex-Motherwell man. Sure, Lennon was the one who brought him to the club and was clearly a big fan of what he produced at Fir Park. But the proof has been in the pudding, and Turnbull has been starved of a run of games this season.

Sunday’s home clash against St Johnstone reads like a great game to get him involved in, but it would take a brave supporter to bet him actually being given the shot.

In other news, a European club has been caught up in Celtic’s managerial chaos.