Former Celtic striker Tony Watt knows a thing or two about performing in Europe at Celtic Park, so when one of his former teammates shines on a Europa League night for the Hoops, it’s worth listening to his thoughts on it all.
Watt played briefly with Turnbull at Motherwell and remains friends with the midfielder, revealing that he even had a discussion the night prior with the Celtic man about making his first European start for the club.
The Motherwell forward was delighted to see him do so well against the French outfit.
Speaking to assembled reporters including our colleague Ben Banks at Not The Old Firm, Watt said: “I watched the game, I was buzzing for him.
“I played the PlayStation with him the night before, speaking to him for an hour, it was early on, and he was buzzing. He was ready for it and that shows the mark of the man.
“A lot of people would get nervous for their first European game at Parkhead but Davie’s not like that at all, he’ll flourish there and he’ll be a big player for Celtic for years to come.”
Turnbull’s fitness was called into question in the week leading up to his European bow, though likely more as a reaction to his positive Covid diagnosis rather than any training problem at Lennoxtown.
Watt doesn’t think any of that’s an issue for his future at Paradise and would go on to say: “I saw people saying he got a fitness shout, but I think that was meant for him to regain his fitness after Covid, and to put in a performance like that after having a virus so severe just shows the mark of a man.
“I think he has all the right tools plus the right mentality to go and be a big player there.
“Hopefully he keeps on playing the way he is, but a goal and an assist in his first start at Celtic Park on a European night means he’s ticked all the boxes that show he’s a player that can step in and do the business for them.”
There are now calls from Celtic supporters for Turnbull to keep his place in Neil Lennon’s starting eleven this weekend, when the Bhoys host Kilmarnock in a crucial Scottish Premiership clash.
Turnbull looks to have the energy, hunger and attacking ambition to play an all-rounder role in the Celtic midfield and if he can show that in the Europa League, he can likely do it against the Ayrshire team too.
Here’s hoping that Lennon sticks with his man.