Celtic defender Christopher Jullien surprised by Scottish football's intensity

By David Walton

January 9, 2020

Celtic defender Christopher Jullien has praised the intensity of Scottish football after making a storming start to life in Scotland.

The Frenchman arrived in the summer from Ligue 1 side Toulouse. He was a regular with the French side last season as he came up against the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Moussa Dembele, and Edinson Cavani to name a few.

His new life in Scotland, however, certainly hasn’t started slowly. Sure, the likes of  Sam Cosgrove, Alfredo Morelos, and Florian Kamberi certainly don’t hold the same wow factor as his old foes. However, that’s not to say his time here hasn’t had its fair share of challenges already.

Christopher Jullien has had a fine start to life in Scotland (Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Speaking to the BBC so far about his first six months in Scotland, he said the following on our game:

“Every team has surprised me. I remember the first game that I played, it was against Motherwell away. I was surprised with the intensity of everything, and it made me realise that I have to get up, work on it, work on my game, to do the best that I can.

“Since that, every team I can see that they improve. They come every game to beat us, and it’s a good feeling to be on the field and to give everything that you can.”

Celtic’s best signing of the summer so far?

There have been plenty of plus-points for Neil Lennon this season, not least the summer recruitment. However, you’ll do well to find a signing that topped that of Jullien.

Jullien’s influence this season can’t be underestimated (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Yes, Celtic managed to acquire the likes of Hatem Abd Elhamed, Boli Bolingoli, and Jeremie Frimpong to name a few. But can any really say they’ve made the impact that Jullien has on our backline?

Jullien is, arguably, the first-choice defender we now have at the club. He’s already managed to secure clean sheets against the likes of Cluj, AIK, and Rangers (x2). He’s played 31 games for the club since the summer and has settled into life tremendously well (Transfermarkt).

In addition to that, he’s also scored vital goals against the likes of AIK, Lazio, Aberdeen, and Rangers respectively. For a player coming into a totally different footballing environment, you simply can’t fault him.

Nobody has managed to get the better of Jullien this season (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

He did initially have some struggles. Despite signing in June, he didn’t play much of a part in our Champions League qualifiers. It was only after the double-header against AIK that he really started coming into his own.

Now, he’s the best defender in Scotland and has a massive five months ahead of him. Hopefully, his successful adaptability period stands him in good stead for a massively crucial spell on our road to 10-in-a-row.