Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has described David Turnbull’s loyalty as “refreshing” in an era where many deem footballers to be money-grabbers.
The midfielder signed a one-year contract extension on Wednesday, two substitute appearances into his comeback from summer knee surgery.
The knee issue shelved a £3.25million move to Celtic and the 20-year-old would potentially have more suitors if he had declined the chance to extend his contract beyond 2021.
However, the boyhood Motherwell fan felt he owed the club and supporters and extended his deal until 2022, a move which is likely to protect his transfer value.
“I think he has to be credited for that,” Robinson said.
“Most agents now and most people in football let their contracts run out and see what’s there. There’s a risk element in doing that for the player and they are entitled to do that.
“I think it shows what a grounded young man he is. He wants to concentrate on football. If he produces the same form he showed before, he will eventually get his move to bigger things and a lot more money.
“But he just wants to play football, he wants to start every game for us, which obviously he can’t do at the moment.
“It speaks volumes in the modern age when footballers are renowned for grabbing every bit of money there is, and he doesn’t come into that category at all. It’s very refreshing.”
Turnbull played an hour for the reserves on Monday and is set to be on the bench for Friday’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Aberdeen at Fir Park.
Robinson said: “I still believe there will be a lot of interest in David, I have no doubt about that, when you have his kind of talent on your hands.
“But it shows where David is in his mind. He is very focused to get back to full fitness and very focused to do as best he can for Motherwell Football Club.
“What will be after that will be. His natural talent will probably take him to the higher reaches of the game. But in the meantime we will enjoy him when he’s fully fit and give him the game time we feel we’re allowed to when we get the OK.”
Motherwell are looking to extend their lead over the Dons to four points and continue the improvement they showed by following a 3-0 home defeat with a 1-0 win at Pittodrie in January.
“There isn’t very much between both teams at any stage,” Robinson said.
“A set-play up there where Liam Donnelly scores. We missed a penalty in the first game when we were very much on top and then got physically out-battled in the second period.
“I think it exposed how young and inexperienced we were at that stage. But I believe we have come on as well since then, I think the belief has come on since then.
“That was early stages in the season. If people have said we would be third at that stage, nobody would have believed us, but we are, we are still there, and we very much believe we can stay in the upper reaches of the league.”