The David Turnbull Celtic question that is looming for Ange

By Patrick Sinat

April 16, 2023

Right off the bat, I want to say that I am a huge fan of David Turnbull. The 23-year-old midfielder is clearly a talented player and not long after his move to Celtic from Motherwell, he started to show the kind of promise that convinced Neil Lennon to shell out over £3m for him.

Even though his first season was blighted by COVID, Turnbull won Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year. [Celtic FC]

Since the arrival of Ange Postecoglou, Turnbull’s appearances in the Celtic starting eleven have dwindled from regular to infrequent.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

He was a consistent starter under the Australian until a hamstring injury cut curtailed his season in December 2021. After three months out, Turnbull’s minutes were then limited even further as Ange added Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate in January 2022.

Both midfielders hit the ground running and had an instant impact on our results leading us to our first league title under Postecoglou.

Turnbull still managed 42 appearances, scoring ten and creating eight. Not bad for a midfielder that spent much of that time on the treatment table. The summer came and Ange added Aaron Mooy and then Tomoki Iwata the following January.

Turnbull’s opportunities in the starting eleven have become even more sparse this season. Apart from a few impressive substitute performances, the Scotland international has found it difficult to force his way into the first team.

The question coming for Ange is this, with Turnbull’s contract expiring in May next year, do we let him go and progress his career elsewhere or stick with him and offer another set of terms?

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

I would love to see Turnbull succeed at Celtic. I think he does have the quality, but with so many midfielders being preferred over him at the moment, it is hard to see where he will get his chance.

Right now he is behind Callum McGregor, Aaron Mooy, Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and Tomoki Iwata for that elusive third midfield spot as Ange clearly prefers the Hatate and McGregor partnership.

If it was up to me, I would offer terms and potentially even loan him out if he needed that security of week-to-week starts. Look at how that turned out for Callum McGregor. Still just 23, there’s a lot of potential left in Turnbull and it’d be a shame to miss out on.

In other news, Jurgen Klinsmann says Celtic have a ‘very special talent’; praises club as massive platform