The Sky Blues made an unexpected sixth summer signing on Monday evening as Jordan Turnbull was announced as a Coventry City player. An undisclosed fee was paid to Southampton for the 21-year old’s services, and the highly thought of defender arrives at the Ricoh Arena on a three-year deal. Having progressed through the coveted academy setup with the Saints, he has spent the last two seasons on loan at fellow Sky Bet League One outfit Swindon Town, the club he first represented as a youngster.
During his time at the County Ground, Turnbull enjoyed great personal success, making just shy of 100 appearances between 2014 and 2016. After making his senior debut for the Robins on the opening day of the 2014/15 campaign, the versatile defender cemented his place within the side. Fine form during that season led to him scooping the Swindon Town Player of the Season award, and as a result, he returned to Wiltshire on a fresh season-long loan deal in the summer.
With the formidable partnership of Adam El-Abd and Raphael Branco occupying the central berths in Swindon’s defence for the majority of 2015/16, Turnbull was utilised at left-back. Despite the change in position, he was one of the standout performers in a disappointing season for the Robins. Prior to the temporary switch away from St. Mary’s he had already represented England at Under-19 level, but he was also rewarded with a cap for the Under-20 side in 2015. He now links up with former team mate Sam Ricketts and he will be eligible to play as of Saturday when City travel to Bradford City.
Tony Mowbray is happy after bolstering his back line
Upon signing the young defender, the manager told the club website:
“I’m pleased to get the signing of Jordan over the line, as we continue to strengthen the squad for this season.
“Jordan played twice against us last season and impressed me both times with his accomplished performance; both in possession of the ball and defensively.
“He will strengthen our options at the back and I am looking forward to working with him over the course of the season and beyond.”
Although we have only conceded one league goal in the opening two fixtures, I think every Coventry supporter has been praying that we bring a central defender in as soon as possible. With rumoured targets falling by the wayside, we have been relying on the likes of Cian Harries to stand up and be counted in the first team. Whilst he is an incredible talent, he isn’t quite ready physically to be a mainstay in our back line. Turnbull is only a couple of years older than young Cian, but he is much more imposing as a figure.
I have heard great things about him from Southampton and I’m sure Swindon fans would have loved to acquired him on a permanent basis. With him understandably dubbed as surplus to requirements on the South Coast, the Premier League outfit were willing to part company and I’m glad we have tied him down to a three-year contract. With a player having so much potential, it makes him a real asset and I hope he enjoys a fruitful stay in the Midlands.
Fingers crossed that, with Chris McCann to also come into the fray, we will begin to shut teams out on a consistent basis. His mixture of technical ability and dogged determination should allow Turnbull to seamlessly slot into the philosophy Mowbray has implemented, causing minimal disruption to the defensive unit. Jordan Willis will then take up one of the other centre-back slots, whilst Sam Ricketts is most likely to make up the three. You then have Lewis Page, Chris Stokes (when he returns from injury) and the already mentioned Harries who can all play in the heart of defence. Things are beginning to look more promising in that area, that’s for sure.
His career so far
Signs for Southampton’s academy aged 13 – 2007
Offered a professional contract with the Saints – June 2013
Represents England at Under-19 level on two occasions – 2013
Joins Swindon Town on a season-long loan – August 2014
Plays for England Under-20’s in a 2-1 win over USA – March 2015
Scores his first senior goal as Swindon draw 3-3 with Walsall – April 2015
Signs another loan deal at Swindon Town – August 2015
Leaves Southampton to join Coventry City – August 2016