The crucial member of Celtic injury list who isn't being talked about enough

By Euan Davidson

December 24, 2021

It’s not news that Celtic have a considerable injury list. It starts with Christopher Jullien, injured about a year ago, and more recently, the likes of Jota and Kyogo have joined the fun.

Grim stuff, you’ll agree. And while Celtic are missing so many attacking players, there’s one guy who’s not being mentioned enough. David Turnbull’s influence on Celtic this season has been massive.

Now, let’s not get it wrong, it took time to adjust. Initially, the high-intensity style was not to Turnbull’s liking. Playing alongside Tom Rogic looked somewhat uncomfortable. He scored a hat-trick against St Mirren early on in the season, but it looked as if Ange Postecoglou’s methods caught up with him.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

We were even at a point of wondering if he was in Celtic’s long-term plans.

That idea got shut down pretty quickly. Turnbull has been one of Ange Postecoglou’s trustiest players. Until Wednesday night, he’d played in every available competitive game for the Bhoys [Transfermarkt]. More often than not, he’d start and finish games, too.

From worries about his stamina and production, Turnbull had made considerable impacts in the latter part of 2021. At the time of writing, Turnbull has 9 goals to his game and 7 assists from a whopping 34 outings. That includes two assists in the Europa League, showing he likes a big occasion.

He may not garner the attention that Jota and Kyogo’s injuries have got. But he’s crucial for Celtic and Ange Postecoglou. If David Turnbull isn’t back soon, it’s not good news at all.

The SPFL do Celtic a massive favour, as Nicholson becomes permanent CEO

The SPFL do Celtic a massive favour, as Nicholson becomes permanent CEO
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

A lack of David Turnbull has already shown for Celtic and Ange Postecoglou

Against St Mirren, we had plenty of the ball, but weren’t able to create too many clear-cut chances. While Tom Rogic is capable of creating magic by himself, David Turnbull does some pretty astounding work of his own.

This season, he’s averaged 4.1 key passes a game in the Premiership [WhoScored?]. That’s 1.1 more than Kevin de Bruyne, and Lionel Messi’s 2.2 looks decidedly average by comparison.

Most pertinently, Celtic had myriad corners and free kicks on Wednesday, something of a speciality for Turnbull. The Hoops have scored 6 goals from set-pieces this season [WhoScored?], owing largely to the Scotland international’s dead ball deliveries.

Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

It seemed like, after his iron man heroics this season, David Turnbull would pick up a knock eventually. Given his previous injury problems, though, it’s a real concern. Ange confirmed he was getting a scan earlier this week, and he’ll be praying for good news.

The sheer effort he puts in, and his desperation to be successful for Celtic, showed in his reaction as he left the pitch against Hibernian at Hampden.

Here’s hoping he can make up for lost time before too long.

Read more: Exclusive: Celtic legend Jackie McNamara on Kyogo and the Larsson comparisons