Celtic midfielder David Turnbull has had an interesting last few years.

While it all might seem a lifetime ago now, the Scottish international went from winning the Scottish Football Writers' Association young player of the year award and was on the verge of signing for the Hoops before a career-threatening injury was uncovered.

It required surgery which meant the then 20-year-old missed the majority of the following season before football was eventually stopped due to the pandemic.

However, when the game was given the green light to come back behind closed doors, Turnbull got off to a flyer with the Steelmen, and quickly the Bhoys came calling again. This time the move went through without a hitch.

It took Turnbull a while to break into the Parkhead side but, once he did, he never looked back.

As things fell apart on and off the pitch for Celtic during the 2020-21 season, the former Motherwell man was the one glimmer of hope to emerge.

He scored 10 goals and provided seven assists, and as a result, he received the club's player and young player of the year awards.

Last summer, with new boss Ange Postecoglou arriving, there were concerns that the Scotland international would struggle to adapt to the manager's style.

After all, what they had heard about the Australian was that he wanted an almost constant high press during these games and that his two number eights would be required to do a lot more running than they were used to under the previous regime.

Despite this, the 23-year-old took to the responsibility well and played in almost every game from when the former Socceroos coach came in until he, unfortunately, picked up an injury in December's League Cup final victory over Hibs.

During the period before being ruled out of action, the Scotsman scored nine goals and provided five assists. A phenomenal return given he had to adapt to playing a completely new way.

Once again, though, he had to persevere and fight back to return from another injury - this time suffered just 26 minutes into the Hampden showpiece.

During his rehab, he missed crucial games such as the 3-0 victory over Rangers and the Europa Conference League tie against Bødo/Glimt.

He returned during the title run-in period and played his part as Celtic completed the double by securing the Scottish Premiership. 

Turnbull spoke about his return from injury during the title run-in.

"It’s a good time to come back, I wish it was a bit sooner," he said at the time. "But the first half of the season I really enjoyed.

"I felt the fittest I have ever been and I was just enjoying my football trying to help the team out.

“I just hope there is more of that to come. I’ve loved it – up until the injury. That was a bit one and hard to take."

In particular, the Motherwell academy graduate praised the impact Postecoglou had on him as he tried to get fit as quickly as possible and how grateful he was for the manager's positive comments about his recovery.

He added: "He’s been a breath of fresh air since he came in and you’re always happy to hear him saying good stuff about you.

"I'm wanting to improve every season, and I feel like I did that last year. He has brought in this style of football, and it has been great to work under him.

"It is just about when you get the chance. Make sure you go out there and take it. You just need to try and stamp your own quality on the game."

After strong performances during pre-season, Turnbull looks back to his best - ready to stamp his quality on the team.

While Reo Hatate and Matt O'Riley have been rightly receiving plenty of plaudits since joining the club in January, Turnbull is not going to give up his position in the team without a fight.

While Postecoglou started with both winter signings on the opening day against Aberdeen, signalling that they might both be his preferred two number 8s, it is important not to forget about Turnbull and what he can offer the squad. 

The Scot will likely have another chance to press his case in Dingwall with Hatate's unavailability.

Given he has persevered plenty of times in his young career so far - he will no doubt be up for the challenge of having to do so again.

This piece is an extract from today’s Celtic Digest newsletter, which is emailed out at 4pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from The Celtic Way team.

To receive our full, free newsletter including this analysis straight to your email inbox, click here and tick the box for The Celtic Digest.