Soccer Football - Scottish Premiership - Celtic v Motherwell - Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain - May 14, 2022 Celtic's David Turnbull and Kyogo Furuhashi applauds fans after winning the Scottish Premiership REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

DAVID TURNBULL was one of the only positives from Celtic’s miserable 2020/21 campaign. His performances gave Celtic fans some hope that he would prove to be a pivotal player in turning Celtic’s fortunes around under a new manager.

Fans were right with the former Motherwell player starring week in and week out under new boss Ange Postecoglou. Then, heartbreak struck as Turnbull pulled up with a hamstring injury in the League Cup final, and the Scottish international then had to spend months on the sidelines as he recovered.

He was then part of matchday squads, appearing from the bench but struggling with fitness concerns. Postecoglou had a settled midfield, and David Turnbull wasn’t part of that for the most part.

Chris Sutton wrote in the Daily Record that he doesn’t believe Turnbull will regain his place in the starting eleven anytime soon and may need to settle to be used as a rotation and backup player next season.

“The Scotland international played a huge part in the first-half of last term when the likes of O’Riley and Hatate were at other clubs. He carried a burden and delivered. 

Turnbull paid the price for a heavy schedule when suffering injury in the Premier Sports Cup Final and that allowed O’Riley and Hatate to jump above him in the pecking order when he was working his way through his rehabilitation. 

Turnbull scored against Motherwell last weekend to offer a reminder of what he can do and, of course, Postecoglou needs a big squad to cope with the demands of another full fixture lost including Champions League next season. 

McGregor starts. Full stop. Every game, if he is fit. That leaves two midfield places up for grabs in the manager’s current system and, to my eye, they are owned at this minute by O’Riley and Hatate and that is even before the market opens. 

“I have little doubt that Postecoglou will go into this window with another midfielder on his radar. In fact, I’m almost sure of it.”

Turnbull’s quality is there for all to see. He can be one of the best midfielders in Scotland on his day. But looking at Celtic’s current midfield, it’s hard to justify dropping any of them. McGregor is undroppable, as Chris pointed out. O’Riley is a top-class player who has a lot of potential. Then Hatate has shown his ability, but tiredness has hampered his performances as the season drew to a close.

It’s a tough one for Postecoglou and Turnbull, but a situation the manager wants to be in. He wants a squad that has quality in their depth so that if someone is ineligible, a player just as good can slot in.

2 COMMENTS

  1. People are saying we’ll struggle to replace Rogic, but i believe we already have a player just as capable as the Wizard, in David Turnbull!

    Rogic is a phenomenal player on his day, surprised he wasn’t snapped up by a European financial giant tbh, though he could appear lazy at times, which is not something you can say about Turnbull.

    Balanced out, Turnbull may not be a perfect like for like match with Rogic, but where Rogic lacked(which wasn’t much), Turnbull produces, and he has the ability to offer the team the same end product as the Aussie, with a bit more running to boot.

    Still like to see us strengthen the Midfield though.

    First things first though, the defence; we need to sign CCV permanently, or an equally capable Centre Back if he’s not up for it, and get Left Back reinforced.

    Jota(fingers crossed) looks like he’s coming back, though we still need another Winger/Forward, and a Centre Forward.

    I trust Ange(the club) to get the right players in; its a relief to finally be able to say that about a Celtic manager, and the club in general!

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