David Turnbull has been praised to the heavens by both manager Neil Lennon and team-mate Mohamed Elyounoussi.
Turnbull signed this summer from Motherwell in a high-profile deal that could end up costing the Hoops as much as £3.25m (BBC). Since then, he’s come on from the bench on three occasions and caught the eye of the supporters every time.
His most latest appearance, in the 3-0 win against Hibs on Sunday, was seriously impressive. He managed to grab his first Celtic assist too, providing Elyounoussi with a fine through ball that was dispatched with aplomb.
And both Moi and manager Lennon have been bigging him up in their pre-match press conferences earlier today on Celtic TV.
First up, Lennon said: “He was excellent, absolutely excellent. You know he’s right in there, he’s bedded in well and you can see the qualities that he has. He’s another young Scottish player – I think it’s important we still have homegrown players in the building. It’s good for the atmosphere in the dressing room and also good for the mentality of the team as well.
“So delighted to have him and delighted with the way he played.”
Elyounoussi was next, saying: “I didn’t know him personally from before. I think the club did a good job to bring him in. He looked sharp from day one and he looks good. You saw that in the game against Hibs as well when he came in and had a great assist.
“He’s a top player that I think we’re going to see more of, whether now or next season. But he looks good.”
Turnbull fitting in nicely
There’s always a bit more hype built up by the media when it comes to young Scottish talent signing for Celtic. There’s a real desperation for them to show that they’re worthy of playing at this level. That’s what makes Turnbull’s start at Parkhead so impressive.
Looking at his stats from Sunday’s game against Hibs, you can tell this isn’t just his team-mate and manager glossing him up either. He genuinely did start after coming on.
According to stat-tracking website WhoScored, Turnbull managed an overall rating with 7.62 out of 10 on the day. That’s 1.01 points over the next most influential sub, Odsonne Edouard.
Impressively, Turnbull managed four key passes too – more than any of his other team-mates who played the full 90 minutes. With two shots to his name and a pass accuracy percentage of 92%, the stats are there to show he can operate at this level.
It remains to be seen whether he manages to break into the starting XI before the end of 2020. But it looks like if Lennon gives him his opportunities, he’s going to seize upon them.
Don’t expect him to start in Sarajevo tomorrow night of course. Callum McGregor, Scott Brown, and Ryan Christie have spots in the starting XI nailed down. But you’d be foolish to bet against another substitute appearance for Turnbull….and even more foolish to bet against him making the most of it.