Celtic are getting ready to witness considerable change at Parkhead this summer. The Bhoys have already seen Neil Lennon leave and thus, they’ll need to find a replacement from somewhere.
Peter Lawwell is set to retire at the end of the season with Dominic McKay succeeding him as CEO.
A further appointment could be a new director of football where Fergal Harkin has long been touted to join Celtic. He is set to come into the fray over Nick Hammond.
The 53-year-old left his role as Head of Football Operations on Wednesday evening, departing a role he’s held since 2019.
Hammond has done his job at Celtic with varying degrees of success. In charge of the club’s transfer strategy, he’s concluded some rather abject deals.
He was the man to fork out £4.5m on Vasilis Barkas, a goalkeeper who has been rather error-prone since moving from AEK Athens.
Hammond has had some triumphs though; mainly with a deal to bring David Turnbull to Paradise.
The former Motherwell midfielder has been a breath of fresh air, proving to be one of the very few positives from an arduous season where they lost their grasp on the Scottish Premiership.
Alongside Ismaila Soro, they have provided reasons to be positive about the future of the Celtic squad. However, despite the Ivorian’s combative displays in the middle of the park, it’s Turnbull who should go down as Hammond’s best parting gift.
The Scot has had an outstanding campaign playing either out wide or just behind the striker. Amazingly, he wasn’t called up to the Scotland squad for the latest round of fixtures but it only feels like a matter of time before he’s in the national side.
After all, Turnbull has registered eight goals and six assists this term, an eye-catching number for someone who hasn’t exactly played in a team that’s thriving this season.
Lennon was able to extract the very best from him and in a campaign where not a lot has gone right, he’s been a shining light. His numbers eclipse many of those at Parkhead too.
The 21-year-old has made 90 key passes this term at a rate of 2.7 per game, a tally that surpasses every player in the squad. Turnbull’s 2.2 shots per game, meanwhile, are only fewer than Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie.
Words from Owen Coyle last month typify exactly the impression he’s made since signing.
He told The Scottish Mail on Sunday (14/03, pg 152): “His physical attributes are there. He’s got an unbelievable engine, he goes box-to-box, covers the ground. He’s a team player who works his socks off. I think he’s a manager’s dream.”
The phrase manager’s dream explains exactly why he’s been such a hit in Glasgow. Turnbull should go down as one of Hammond’s finest investments.