Celtic boss provides fresh update on Christopher Jullien

By David Walton

September 12, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has delivered a fresh update on the fitness of Christopher Jullien ahead of the Europa League group stage.

Jullien has been out for three quarters of a year after injuring his knee against Dundee United back in December 2020. Since then, it’s been a long load to recovery for the Frenchman, who’s effectively going to lose a year of his career to the setback.

There was slight surprise and optimism, however, when he was included in the club’s Europa League squad for the group stages. Postecoglou stated several weeks ago that the player was still working on an individual program.

Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images

But as he looked ahead to the Europa League groups, Postecoglou has explained why Chris has been included in the squad despite not playing a single minute of action for so long.

As quoted by the Sunday Mail [print edition, 12/09, page 67], Postecoglou said: “We’ve included him in the Europa League squad but that’s more for later in the group. Christopher’s getting closer but he hasn’t trained with the group yet.

“He’s out there every day and, from looking at him, he can’t wait to be back involved. Hopefully over the next couple of months, we’ll see him slowly get back into the team. I think he’s got a bit of presence about him. Even though he’s not training with us, he’s still fairly influential around the group.

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“But he will want to get out there and contribute first of all. Having him back will be a huge bonus and when he’s fit and available it’ll definitely add to the group.”

Christopher Jullien still not close to a Celtic return anytime soon

Celtic’s Europa League campaign runs from September 14th to December 9th. Therefore, it’s clear that the Hoops won’t Jullien back involved well before the final month of the year.

Even so, there are no signs as of yet that a reintroduction into the first-team squad is on the agenda. Instead, it’s looking likely that Jullien will be back at some stage over the next two months.

Updates on the player’s recovery have been fairly vague. The manager hasn’t been willing to put much of a timescale on it. But by including him in the Europa League squad, he unofficially has done. And that at the very least gives Celtic fans some hope over when we might see him again.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

For now, Postecoglou appears content to build his defence around the three options he currently has at his disposal. Carl Starfelt, Cameron Carter-Vickers, and Stephen Welsh have all shown promising signs. It’s enough for the manager to work with for us.

Celtic even have the likes of Nir Bitton available to slot in if necessary. We’ve managed to keep our centre-back options strong since the injury to Jullien.

But there’s no denying his return will be a big one whenever it comes to pass. Fingers crossed it’s sooner rather than later ahead of a hectic schedule.

In other news, Joe Hart takes another vital step in proving Celtic doubters wrong