GIVEN the oft-held perception that a move to Celtic or Rangers is akin to career suicide for young Scots at other clubs, it has been nice to see the impact that David Turnbull has made since taking that jump from Motherwell in the summer.

Some do sink without trace under the pressure of playing for one of Glasgow’s big two of course, spending a couple of years on the bench or in the reserves before resurfacing in the lower leagues, but speak to anyone who has followed Turnbull’s fledgling career and the overwhelming prediction was that he was always likely to swim after being thrown in at the deep end.

The consolation for those he left behind was the sure knowledge that they still had another outstanding young prospect at the heart of their midfield – if far less heralded – in the shape of Allan Campbell, but now that the glare of Turnbull’s talent is gone, it is getting harder for the Fir Park club to hide his close friend’s light under a bushel.

Not that they would particularly want to. Their business model, after all, relies upon developing outstanding young players and selling them on when the time is right for a fair price. The key point here though from a Motherwell perspective, at least, is that the loss of Turnbull in this window means that this would most certainly not be the right time to also lose Campbell. The £3m plus they banked from that sale would mean – pandemic or not – that they will not be motivated to sell.

The problem for the Lanarkshire club though is that Campbell is currently in the last year of his contract, which is motivating plenty of prospective buyers.

Hibernian are reported to be the first of those ready to test Motherwell’s resolve with a bid, which due to the short length of time left on his current deal, would likely be of the cut-price variety. With Aberdeen also in the hunt, they may be able to push that up slightly, but it was no surprise to hear Fir Park assistant manager Keith Lasley saying yesterday that he hopes Campbell decides to continue his development where he is and that he takes up their offer of a new deal.

Given his continued improvement, it would be highly unlikely he would see that deal out where he is, but like Turnbull before him, he may feel a debt of gratitude to Motherwell and put pen to paper simply to ensure the club get full value for his services.

Given how close the players were growing up, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Campbell follow in Turnbull’s footsteps by doing just that, just as Turnbull followed him into the Motherwell first team. The only surprise for me though is that there has been little to no discussion to date of the pair’s careers dovetailing once more at Celtic Park.

Campbell may not have the technical ability of his pal, but there is plenty he brings to the table that Turnbull does not. His combative style, tenacity, ability to break up play and his dynamism make him seem like the perfect successor in fact to captain Scott Brown at the heart of the Celtic midfield. And the more that his game develops, the more that his style chimes with the younger version of Brown that blazed onto the scene at Hibs.

Campbell isn’t just a destroyer, but has also brought a goal threat to his game, with his impressive engine allowing him to get from box to box and beyond defences. Ok, he is unlikely to ever be prolific, but he has already chipped in with a couple of goals this term to add to the six he bagged last season.

He is also a leader, and has been appointed as captain of Scotland's under-21s by Scot Gemmill, recently hitting a cracking winner against Lithuania.

His all-round improvement has been no accident, either. Both Lasley and Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson have long praised Campbell’s attitude and work ethic behind the scenes. He is the first one in and the last one out, always looking for ways to improve physically and technically. Turnbull may be the one that young fans would look up to and hope to one day emulate, but inside the club, it is Campbell who is held up to the young players as the perfect example to follow if they want to make the most of their talent.

Yes, Celtic aren’t exactly crying out for midfielders at present, with Turnbull likely to have to wait a while to cement a starting place despite his impressive cameos from the bench so far. Campbell may not be quite ready to usurp Brown at the base of that Celtic midfield, but with the skipper now 35, the 22-year-old is surely a contender to step into his boots once he has eventually hung his up for good.

Motherwell will hope that his exit from Fir Park is a good way off yet. But when he gets his move up in the world – and rest assured, it will come eventually – seldom will a young player have earned it more than Campbell.