There haven’t been many bright lights for Celtic supporters this season but David Turnbull is definitely one of them.
The 21-year-old signed from Motherwell during the extended summer transfer window after his comeback from injury. He hasn’t looked back since.
It initially took a fair bit of time for Neil Lennon to trust him with first-team starts, but it’s not often a match goes by without him named in the starting eleven these days.
If anyone can feel the benefit of a new manager and coaching team in the building, it’s Turnbull.
Owen Coyle appears to agree with that suggestion. He reckons a new manager coming in can have the same impact on Turnbull that Dick Advocaat had on Barry Ferguson at Rangers two decades ago.
He told The Scottish Mail on Sunday (14/03 print edition, page 152): “His physical attributes are there. He’s got an unbelievable engine, he goes box-to-box, covers the ground. He’s a team player who works his socks off. I think he’s a manager’s dream.
“So the new manager moving into Celtic will look at Turnbull as Advocaat looked at Barry and think: “This boy has just so much potential and so much quality”. He’s going to be delighted to walk in there and, first and foremost, see that he’s already got an exceptional talent in the middle of the park. But the exciting thing is he’ll think: “I can make him better”. Just like Advocaat did by guiding Barry’s career so much in those first couple of seasons.
“Over the years, we’ve seen fantastic players go to Celtic and Rangers who don’t have the mentality to deal with the demands. This kid has it. After what he’s been through, he’s going to be such a strong player for Celtic next season and moving forward for many seasons to come.”
David Turnbull will be even better for Celtic next season
When you consider the injury trauma that Turnbull has been through over the last couple of years, his progress this season should be looked upon even more kindly.
With eight goals and six assists this term, he’s made a decent contribution from the middle of the park. Expect him to easily hit double figures in both categories next term, especially if a new manager gets the team playing as a whole.
Experience, confidence and the backing of passionate supporters will surely bring his game on to new heights.
He’s a young talent that we should be looking to build around over the next couple of seasons. Let’s hope any new manager sees that from the off.