Christopher Jullien’s inevitable return to action for Celtic is finally going to give them the centre-back depth they urgently require.
Neil Lennon confirmed last week that the French defender was set to return after the international break (Daily Record). This comes after a back injury originally picked up back in September has continued to plague Jullien.
Indeed, the former Toulouse man has made a couple of appearances on the bench since the day he picked up his injury, but more often than not he’s been left out of the action altogether.
After seeing a specialist regarding the issue, Jullien last provided an update over the weekend as he published a video on his Instagram page showing him working hard with a personal trainer.
And it’s clear that the defender is due to return imminently as he presses hard to get back into the action. But one thing’s been clear during Jullien’s absence – we need him more than we initially thought.
Celtic have collapsed defensively time and time again since he was taken out to get treatment. The likes of Shane Duffy and Nir Bitton have struggled in individual moments, and we’ve slowly seen our season begin to crumble.
Not having Jullien available has been a massive part of that. Celtic have had to switch up the defensive partnerships more than we would’ve liked, with not enough depth in the position in recent weeks.
Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed’s brush with Covid kept them out for a period, whilst Duffy has had to be dropped due to poor performances. In truth, only Kris Ajer has been able to hold his head up high with regards to his all-round performances in recent weeks.
So Jullien’s return will provide us with another reliable option. Elhamed is going to be needed at right-back due to Jeremie Frimpong’s injury, whilst Bitton has made some poor errors since recovering from Covid.
It’s no wonder then that supporters are delighted to see the Frenchman on his way back, as supporters looked forward to him hopefully returning against Hibs in two weeks.
Jullien back for Easter road pic.twitter.com/A9Zf7uUkrq
— Knoxy (@LK67__) November 10, 2020
Christopher Jullien clears his lines against St Johnstone. A very badly missed player for Celtic this season. Hopefully he won't be out for much longer. Haste ye back big man. pic.twitter.com/Le1QOvetvA
— St.Anthony (@Stephen4_2) November 10, 2020
Buzzing big Julliens back the sooner we get Jullien and Ajer starting together the result will start coming
— Ryan (@GL___67) November 10, 2020
big jullien playing to fans, and we loooove it pic.twitter.com/Tx39CXs1tI
— Paddy MaskCourt CSC (@AmbhoysNJ) November 10, 2020
Big Jullien with a dragon ball z reference convinced now he’s coming back the best he’s ever been
— Jordan (@_Jordan_Leitch) November 10, 2020
I think it's clear that him and Ajer are underrated by most of us. They aren't perfect but they are by far our best options.
— jokeybhoy (@Jokeybhoy) November 9, 2020
Many underestimate (hugely) the importance of the Ajer/Jullien axis imho. (Although maybe less so these days 😶).
That solidity returning would go a long way to improving the ol' sieve. https://t.co/3oYLvGWO1Z
— celticbynum9ers (@Alan_Morrison67) November 10, 2020
Structure of the team just needs reorganised slightly. Jullien coming back will help I think.
— Marty (@Martin_Celt67) November 9, 2020