David Turnbull fit to make Celtic debut v Motherwell

New £3m signing could make bow against former club

David Turnbull has left Motherwell to join Celtic in a £3m deal. Picture: Paul Devlin / SNS
David Turnbull has left Motherwell to join Celtic in a £3m deal. Picture: Paul Devlin / SNS

David Turnbull has declared himself fit and ready to make his Celtic debut against his former club Motherwell on Sunday after finally completing his £3 million transfer to the Scottish champions.

The 21-year-old midfielder has signed a four-year contract with Celtic, 14 months after his initial move from the Fir Park club collapsed when his medical revealed a serious knee problem which required surgery.

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Turnbull, Scotland’s Young Player of the Year in the 2018-19 campaign, was sidelined for eight months following the operation but successfully returned to action with Motherwell shortly before football was suspended by the coronavirus pandemic in March.

He has been a regular starter for the Lanarkshire side since the start of this season, displaying the form and conditioning which persuaded Celtic to resuscitate a deal which sees him become their third signing of the current transfer window after the captures of Greek goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas from AEK Athens for £4.5m and Swiss striker Albian Ajeti from West Ham United for £5m.

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In one of the ironies football so regularly throws up, Turnbull’s first appearance for Celtic may come against the club whose youth academy he joined at the age of 10 and where he has developed into one of Scottish football’s brightest emerging talents.

“As soon as I’m required, I’m ready,” said Turnbull ahead of his new club’s Premiership fixture against Motherwell at Celtic Park this weekend.

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“I’ve played in the first five games of the season [for Motherwell], I’ve managed to get a goal, I feel really fit and I’m just raring to go and make my mark here at Celtic.”

Turnbull admits it was difficult to cope with the dismay he felt last summer when, having already posed for some pre-publicity photos in a Celtic jersey, the details of his knee issue emerged.

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“Looking back, the injury was the worst time of my life really,” he told the Celtic



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