Celtic are currently sat in sixth place in the Scottish Premiership after eight games as the Hoops twiddle their thumbs ahead of a return to action next weekend following the second international break of the campaign.
The break could not have come at a worse time for the Hoops as their last match was their first win in three Premiership matches. Instead of having the chance to build some positive momentum, Ange Postecoglou has seen various members of his squad jet off across the globe.
One player who is away on international duty is Scotland midfielder David Turnbull. The former Motherwell man has been one of Postecoglou’s key players this season and is proving himself to be a quality option for the Hoops in the middle of the park.
Turnbull has been a phenomenal signing at Parkhead, having been brought to the club by Neil Lennon in the summer of 2020. He did not get off to the best of starts, though, as he began the 2020/21 campaign with one goal and two assists in 13 appearances, with eight of those games coming at Celtic.
He was able to adapt to life in Glasgow, however, and enjoyed a terrific end to the campaign under Lennon as he finished on nine goals and eight assists for the Hoops in all competitions, having managed zero goals and two assists in his opening eight games.
The £7.4k-per-week wizard has carried that form over to the 2021/22 season with Ange Postecoglou in charge and the Australian already loves him. Turnbull has played 18 times in all competitions this term and produced six goals and three assists, starting all eight of Celtic’s Premiership matches.
Only Anthony Ralston, who has started six games, and Ryan Christie, who has since left the club, have averaged higher SofaScore ratings than Turnbull for Celtic in the Premiership. The attacking midfielder has averaged a sublime score of 7.60 across his eight starts, creating an eye-catching 2.8 chances per game for Postecoglou’s side whilst also scoring three times.
At the time of writing (11/10/21), Transfermarkt value Turnbull at £4.5m. This is a 177.7% increase from his value in January of this year, which shows that he has progressed immensely over the past ten months, now establishing himself as a favourite of Postecoglou’s.
Speaking about him in August, the Aussie said: “He has all the ingredients, physically, he works hard, great technique, good temperament.
“The challenge for David is not to put any limits on the player he can be and the levels he can reach.”
His game time this season shows that the Australian already feels that he can rely on the 22-year-old to churn out quality performances on a consistent basis. Managers love this in players as it means they can select them week-in-week-out without worrying about whether they will perform or not. Turnbull’s average rating proves that he has not let the manager down in that respect.