If there was one positive to take from this horrendous and arduous slog of a season for Celtic, it would be David Turnbull.
The midfielder was a breath of fresh air to the Parkhead side this term, creating and scoring goals on a regular basis for the Hoops.
The Bhoys didn’t get a lot of their recruitment right last season but Turnbull has turned into Nick Hammond’s best parting gift. Celtic’s head honcho on the recruitment operations resigned in March of this year but he should take comfort from Turnbull’s progression.
After arriving from Motherwell, the 21-year-old has been nothing short of fantastic. He won Celtic’s Player of the Season award and was nominated for the Scottish Young Player gong as well. It was unsurprising, then, that Steve Clarke named him in Scotland’s squad for the upcoming European Championship.
A similar player who didn’t quite make the cut was Ryan Gauld. Once of Dundee United, he took the brave plunge of moving to Sporting Lisbon as a teenager.
If he does come back to Scotland, he could create a mouth-watering partnership with Turnbull by moving to Parkhead. The duo are capable of playing out wide or in the middle and have very similar qualities.
There were just two goal involvements between the two promising Scottish talents, while their more intricate statistics are almost dead level as well. Throughout the 2020/21 campaign, Turnbull provided 2.2 shots and 2.7 key passes per game – in comparison, Gauld registered 2.4 shots and 2.3 key passes per outing.
The area where the Celtic target comes out on top is dribbles per game. Gauld has particularly tricky feet, something that’s been widely praised.
“I know that because I coached in Brazil’s first division for three years. I can strongly say that Ryan is a top player even when compared to the best in Brazil.”
That’s some praise for a player who hails from a nation which doesn’t always produce the most technical of players.
Gauld has proven to be a trailblazer for young Scottish footballers but it’s time for him to come back to his home nation. His qualities combined with Turnbull’s could revive Celtic’s forward line.