Former Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has given a superb appraisal of Celtic star David Turnbull as he reflected on his love of football.
It was Robinson who gave Turnbull the opportunity to make it in the senior ranks. He blooded the attacking-midfielder into the Motherwell side back in 2019, and quickly caught the attention of Celtic.
One failed move and one summer later, Celtic were back in for him again. Fast forward another eight months or so and Turnbull is operating at the highest level in Scottish football. He’s a constant in the Celtic side, and has become a fan-favourite due to his blistering performances and goalscoring edge.
Robinson, meanwhile, has touched on the sheer urge to constantly improve that lives within Turnbull. And he believes he’s fully showing his confidence as a player after finally being given some trust by the Hoops.
“Just a kid who wants to play”
As quoted by the Daily Record, Robinson said: “At no point was David unwavering in his belief that he’d be a top player. All he wanted to do was play football again. That shows the type of mentality the boy’s got. To go into a club like Celtic, where there are big personalities, and demand the ball takes a lot. But I watch him now, he’s getting annoyed at people who don’t give him the ball.
“He’s got so much belief in his own ability – but with a quiet assurance about him as well. He’s got a lot to live up to there because Brown and McGregor have been there and done it. But I genuinely believe David can go on to be a very good player for Celtic. David’s got an inner confidence and no headlines – good or bad – will affect him.
“He’s just a kid who wants to play. Give him a ball because he still looks at times like he’s playing in the park with his mates. That’s probably the biggest compliment I can pay him. We had to kick him off the training ground at Motherwell.”
Stephen Robinson right to look back with pride; David Turnbull has cemented his place as an undroppable figure
Robinson has a divine right to look back on Turnbull’s career and take plenty of credit for it. It was the Northern Irishman who shot David to new heights and entrusted him to perform on a platform he had never known before.
Celtic had already suffered regret when it came to snubbing talent like him in the past. The Hoops failed to sign up John McGinn when he was emerging as a breakthrough talent at Hibs back in 2018. You could go even further and look at some of the domestic names we’ve missed out too – James McCarthy being a good example.
That was something the Hoops clearly didn’t want to miss out on again. They secured Turnbull as soon as they could, and now he’s flying and thriving in a Celtic side that’s often struggled this season.
It says a lot about Turnbull’s talent that he continues to be adored by supporters even though the rest of the team have infuriated us. It shows both the mentality and skill level he’s now operating at. Considering he’s also only 21, he’s going to be a highly lucrative asset for the club in the long term.
In a way, it looks as though we’ve learned from previous failures in that regard. Celtic were more authoritative in getting a deal done for Turnbull than they were with McGinn. Hopefully, we go about our business in a similar manner in the future when talents like David come across our path.
And as we watch this incredible young footballer continue to grow at Parkhead, the sky is becoming the limit for what he can achieve.