Christopher Jullien’s starting spot at Celtic is something the big Frenchman is willing to work for.
Jullien arrived at Parkhead without having trained a single pre-season session before signing. Toulouse’s season in Ligue 1 finished back on May 24th – a day before we lifted the Scottish Cup against Hearts. That was the last time Jullien featured before signing for Celtic in late June.
But despite having nearly two months of building up his fitness with his team-mates, he still isn’t a regular first-choice. Jozo Simunovic, Kristoffer Ajer, and Nir Bitton have all played more than the Frenchman so far. Indeed, Jullien has only started one of a possible five competitive games for the club.
But speaking to the Celtic View (Volume 55, Issue 5, Page 22), Jullien has touched on his lack of game-time and committed himself to earning his spot.
“In every big club there is competition, and that’s the way you want it to be. I’ve come to a team that wants to win everything. The team won everything in Scotland last year and the two before that, so I came to this club knowing I must be competitive and at my very best in every single game.
“The gaffer already knows everyone who’s already here. I enter the team and have to prove myself and my worth in this squad. I must come in and do what I’m asked, what I’m supposed to do, and I know that the gaffer and dressing room have my back.”
Motherwell trip offers Jullien his big chance
Neil Lennon has yet to confirm it, but you have to imagine Jullien will start this Saturday at Fir Park.
Jozo Simunovic is suspended as his two-game ban continues. Therefore, with only Kristoffer Ajer available outside of Jullien as a natural defender, this seems like the most appropriate combination against Steve Robinson’s side.
There is the option of tossing Nir Bitton back into the mix. But if the Israeli plays over Jullien, that would be a serious head-scratcher. Nothing against Nir and his early-season performances, but when Celtic spend £7m on a centre-back, you expect to see him play at almost every opportunity.
It was always going to be interesting to hear what Jullien thought about his lack of first-team action. It’s clear he has no real worries about it at the moment. He knows the level of competition at Celtic is high, and understands the defence have started the season well without him.
But it still feels inevitable that we see him in the first-team in the near future. With the money spent, he simply has to be. And if it doesn’t start at Motherwell on Saturday, you wonder where it will.