Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan lauds Bhoys youngster

By Euan Davidson

April 17, 2021

Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has lauded the unpredictability of Bhoys star David Turnbull.

The ex-Motherwell man has had a breakout season in the Hoops. In little over 30 league matches this season, Turnbull has scored 5 and set up 7, while he’s managed a goal and an assist in just one Europa League outing. That’s led to calls for a Scotland call-up, while he rates higher for Key Passes than Lionel Messi and Thomas Müller.

So, all in, a good season. Ahead of tomorrow’s Glasgow Derby, former Celtic and Scotland boss Gordon Strachan was effusive in his praise.

He told Football Pass:

“Turnbull especially has got something different about him at the moment.

“He can do something that when I watch a game, I can easily see something coming, but Turnbull can bring in something that I go, ‘I like that. Where did that come from?’.

“But in the same way I kind of expect it after watching him for a few years.”

It’s confusing praise, in typical Gordon Strachan fashion, but it’s a compliment nonetheless. Turnbull has been mightily impressive since beginning his Celtic career, albeit it came very late in the day. The former Motherwell man had to wait until late September for just a half of football, before a spell out with Covid-19.

Celtic midfielder David Turnbull / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

David Turnbull earns Gordon Strachan plaudits, surely Steve Clarke will be watching him for Celtic tomorrow

With Ryan Jack and Oli McBurnie confirmed to miss the Euros, Turnbull must surely be in the Scotland reckoning [Sky Sports]. Yes, the Tartan Army have an embarrassment of riches in midfield for the first time in decades. However, like Strachan says, it is Turnbull’s unpredictability which can often set him apart.

Consider, for example, his goal against Aberdeen [Glasgow Times]. With barely a moment for the defence to set itself, Turnbull lashes a shot well past Joe Lewis to win the game for Celtic. Or, his outstanding free-kick which nearly saw a decimated squad squeak past Hibs in January [Sky Sports].

The Wishaw-born 21-year-old is capable of moments of utter magic. In tight games, that can be the difference between a win or a draw. Given how difficult Scotland might find the upcoming Euros in terms of possession, these attributes are extremely useful.

While we’re yet to see him fully make his mark against Rangers, form dictates that the youngster will have his say in tomorrow’s Scottish Cup derby.

READ MORE: Two Celtic youngsters make significant impact for their loan clubs in today’s SPFL action.