With 10 months left on his contract, David Turnbull has given Celtic a preseason to think about. His goals and assists stats at Celtic have been off the chart since arriving from Motherwell three years ago. In a midfield with Matt O’Riley, Reo Hatate, Callum McGregor and Aaron Mooy his opportunities were rare.
Mooy has gone but the arrival of Odin Thiago Holm leaves David with the same predicament. Will preseason interest continue into the darker night? Celtic will offer a new contract, but if you were him, surely you’d wait and see what game time you got?
Celtic’s dividend of the Champions League TV Pot depends on how many clubs qualify for the group stage from Scotland. If Newco come through the qualification process, as they did last year, it will cost Celtic around Є3m. Next week our domestic challengers face Servette in the first of two rounds they need to prevail in.
I hoped for a Genk win over Servette last night, but the Belgians, who managed to blow the league title on the final moments of last season, were equally wasteful against a side who were away from home, a man down within 3 minutes and twice behind on the night.
Newco will be confident of progressing to the playoff round, and earning Є5m in prize money at the same time They perform remarkably well in European qualifiers, far better than we have in recent seasons.
Still, past performance is not a guarantee of future outcomes. Servette are four competitive games into their season, drawing three, with an away win at Grasshoppers in the bank. It will be an interesting doubleheader.
Last week, in Andorra Hibs had to endure their own version of what happened to Celtic at a municipal park at Gibraltar in 2016. That result did not indicate what was in store for Celtic that season (an invincible treble, in case it slipped your mind). Celtic’s response was a measure of Brendan Rodgers and his players. Hibs will surely prevail in the second leg tonight, but don’t bet on them having an acceptable season.