Michael Stewart talks up Celtic star David Turnbull on BBC Sportsound
Michael Stewart has been pushing the talent of Celtic midfielder David Turnbull again as he talked up his Scotland prospects.
Turnbull was called up by Steve Clarke for Euro 2020 in what was an exciting decision by the Scotland boss. However, after appearing in warm-up matches for the tournament, Turnbull didn’t play a single minute once the tournament began.
Instead, it was the likes of John McGinn, Callum McGregor, and Ryan Christie who were all given their opportunities to shine. That’s despite the fact that Turnbull outperformed the latter pair during the 2020/21 campaign.
Stewart has been discussing the future for the Scottish national team after our disappointing Euros exit. In the past, he’s stated that Celtic should be building their team around the midfield talent [BBC]. And now, he thinks it’s time he was unleashed for Scotland.
Speaking live on BBC Sportsound yesterday [BBC Radio Scotland, 14:30], Stewart said: “I think we have got quality players that can go and compete at that level.
“The big problem is that difference maker in that final third that we don’t have – like a striker or someone who can score a goal out of nothing. To a certain extent that is where David Turnbull comes in – he is someone who with his striking ability, in terms of hitting the target, making goalkeepers work.
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“He never chokes a shot, everything is clean – right foot, left foot. He has obviously not been able to make an impact yet because we are strong in that midfield but he is a little bit different to everything else that we have got.”
Michael Stewart spot on; no reason to keep Celtic man David Turnbull hidden
You could perhaps understand why Clarke didn’t give Turnbull many minutes. He had a core group of players who qualified for the competition and he will have wanted to give them the opportunity to shine.
But from here on in, there’s no reason to keep Turnbull on the sidelines for much longer. The Hoops midfielder could easily be Scotland’s biggest goal threat if he played for the national team regularly.
As of yet, David only has one appearance at senior level for Scotland. At 22, there is still plenty of time to realise his international ambitions. But why wait any longer?
Scotland’s next competitive game will take them to Denmark in World Cup qualifying in September. Moldova and Austria will then follow. Turnbull should be front and centre for all three of those matches.
It likely didn’t matter how good Turnbull performed last season. Clarke seemed to have no intention of throwing him in at Euro 2020 regardless.
But the World Cup qualifying campaign should be Turnbull’s time to shine. Will he take his big opportunity? You would hardly bet against it.