Confident David Turnbull believes he can justify Celtic’s huge outlay

Midfielder points to £4.4m Scott Brown as a perfect example of a big fee paying off

David Turnbull is unveiled at Celtic Park. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
David Turnbull is unveiled at Celtic Park. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS

David Turnbull believes Celtic skipper Scott Brown is the perfect example of how a talented young Scot’s big-money move to Parkhead can work.

A knee issue in his medical scuppered the midfielder’s transfer to Celtic in June 2019 but the Scottish champions agreed to pay Motherwell a similar fee to the potential £3.25million on offer after the 21-year-old returned to full fitness after surgery.

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The Fir Park club said the fee was nearly double their previous transfer record, which was the £1.75m received from Celtic for Phil O ’Donnell in 1994.

Brown joined Celtic from Hibernian in 2007 for a fee of £4.4m, the highest transfer fee paid between two Scottish clubs, and has enjoyed a glittering career since.

“He has obviously been here for years,” said Turnbull. “He came here as a young boy all those years ago and he is someone you can look up to. If I can do half as much as he has done it would be amazing.

“I believe in my ability and I feel as if I can come here and make an impact. Hopefully I can do that I and I feel ready.

“I always believed in my ability and that after my injury not much would have changed.

“It was always in my head that I would come back and be the same player, it is just how long it would take.

“I am just delighted to be here and can’t wait to get started.”

Turnbull could make his debut against Motherwell at Parkhead tomorrow and he will be forever grateful to the Fir Park club.

He said “It will be strange. If it happens it will be a weird one.

“Obviously I have been with them all the years and then switching sides and bumping into them all again, it will be a fun experience.

“They have all been delighted, putting messages in the group chat, wishing me luck, saying it is a great move and they are all buzzing for me although I think I am out of that (group) now.

“I have been at Motherwell my whole life. I need to thank them and physio Davie Henderson for looking after me the past 14 months.

“They have been brilliant for me, helping me through every part of it and I think they are all delighted as well so it’s a win-win.”

Turnbull’s old Fir Park boss Stephen Robinson could expect an instant boost to his playing budget after such a deal but he feels investing in the future is the way ahead and is fully behind plans to improve training facilities.

Motherwell have sold the likes of Louis Moult, Cedric Kipre, Jake Hastie and James Scott during Robinson’s spell in charge and he understands the business model. He wants the club to give themselves an even better chance of developing talented young players.

Motherwell do not own their training ground and the board are keen to ensure Turnbull’s legacy is lasting.

“I could sit here and moan,” said Robinson when asked about losing such a talented player. “It’s frustrating as a manager, every time you build a squad… Imagine we put all those players together? We’d be a good side.

“But nobody told me anything different when I took the job. That’s the model of the football club.

“We develop players. It’s the only way the club can survive. We have all bought into that, we are a development club.

“We got a huge fee for David, which is fantastic for the club, and we are into another round in Europe, so now we need to build on that.

“I’m not expecting any more in my budget. What I want is the infrastructure of the football club, I want the training ground sorted out.”

Robinson, whose team travel to Celtic Park buoyed by their 5-1 Europa League win over Glentoran, feels the transfer can transform the club.

“We’re in precarious times at the moment and nobody knows when crowds are going to get back,” he added. “Sooner rather than later hopefully.

“The board run this football club prudently and they are very, very good at what they do.

“Jim McMahon is an excellent chairman and he will make sure the club is right first and foremost. No money will be blown.”

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