Neil Lennon says he expects David Turnbull to make a “serious intrusion” as a Celtic player in the next 12-18 months.
Turnbull arrived in the summer, and it was rarely used in Lennon’s starting XI. Former Motherwell Starlet have made the starting line-up only once since his arrival – a 2-0 win over St Johnstone in October.
Since then it has only been in very few roles, with Lennon occasionally throwing the Turnbull in the last few minutes. This disappointed a support that saw the midfield as a key area of weakness and stagnation that needed a new injection of quality.
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But the manager is increasing his summer signing as he has hinted that the scene could explode in the near future.
As quoted by the Glasgow Times, Lennon said: “He is part of the plans. I was fascinated by him when he came on the weekend. He is a month away from us with the International Squad and then the Kovid. He had to go through those protocols, but he is healthy and fit now. I still think he will play a role between the end of the year.
“It simply came to our notice then. He’s a big kid, a really talented kid, and he causes a break. His attitude was excellent. He really lacks maintenance, and he comes in with a smile on his face every day. David enjoys the environment and the challenges that lie ahead.
“He’s still influential at the end of the year, and I’m sure he’s going to make a serious move from next year to 18 months.
Lille does not seem to be alone
We have it there. Probably the only time this season has seen Lennon turn into Turnbull.
It usually won’t do this unless the manager starts giving them more regular minutes, and it seems to be on Turnbull’s mind as he tries to stick to his job for the next two months.
With matches coming up against Kilmarnock, Roska County, Dundee United and Hamilton, respectively, you can’t say there are no fixtures. These are all matches where Turnbull can easily replace Scott Brown, and you are still confident that the game will win.
Neil sees playing Turnbull as a risk this season. It can not be further from the truth. The real risk is stuck with a midfield that has become unpredictable and is now struggling to dominate games internally.
That’s why Turnbull signed – to inject innovation when needed. Lennon did not arrive here on time with Turnbull’s integration into first – team matters – it’s very outdated.
A game that ranks second in League 1 may not be the best game to stand out in Turnbull, but it will give fans and managers the best barometer of where they are overall. Expect him to impress as much as he can tonight.
In another news, a Celtic absence Lennon failed to mention the game tonight.
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