David Turnbull suitor Aston Villa have been told that signing the ex-Motherwell and Celtic powerhouse would represent a Frank Lampard-esque acquisition.
That is the view taken by ex-Scotland boss Alex McLeish, who revealed that he was alerted to the midfielder’s talents by James McFadden during his tenure with the Scottish national team.
The Scottish Sun claim Villa are preparing an offer in the summer in the region of £7 million for the Hoops enforcer ahead of the next Premier League campaign, whilst it is also claimed that he has been scouted on numerous occasions by the Villans this season.
Speaking to Football Insider, McLeish noted the shrewdness and tenacity to the box-to-box midfielder, likening him to former Chelsea, West Ham and Manchester City man Frank Lampard:
“When I was in the job with Scotland, I spoke about Turnbull with James McFadden,” McLeish claimed.
“James worked at Motherwell and he said: ‘Alex, the kid’s a great prospect. We should be thinking about him somewhere down the line.’
“At that particular time there were guys established in the squad like John McGinn. McTominay was starting to come into the Manchester United team as well.
“Turnbull is one of these midfielders who has the knack of getting from box to box, coming late and getting goals like Lampard.
“We’ve seen the Lampards of this world doing it. Ian Durrant way back in the day with Rangers, he was magnificent at it. That is the type of player he is. Therefore, I feel that he would be a player who would be getting scrutinised.
“That’s normal. That would be normal for a player playing for Rangers, a player playing for Celtic. He’ll be getting scrutinised to see if he can go to the next level.”
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Fans should consider it a compliment that such early praise is already emerging for the Celtic bulwark.
With 177 Premier League goals, a UCL and 3 Premier League titles to his name, few would dare to refute Lampard’s legend status.
Although scoring is not his primary duty, his 7 goals and 5 assists in the Premiership and his 17 goal contributions overall point to a good offensive work rate and acumen to impact the tempo of games.
Featuring in 71% of starting XIs in the Premiership, Turnbull has established himself as a tactical mainstay in Paradise despite only seeing a meaningful run of games from December under Neil Lennon.
With three more years left to run on his existing deal, any potential sale will see Celtic firmly in the driving seat. Given his proven impact this season, £7 million feels to be a derisory offer.