Neil Lennon: Celtic will "possibly" sign another central defender

By David Walton

July 1, 2019

Celtic’s defenders got a new addition this week, and Neil Lennon has admitted it may not stop there.

Christopher Jullien jetted in on a £7million (The Scotsman) deal from Toulouse before Celtic overcame Wiener Sportclub 2-1 on Saturday. Against Sportclub, Kristoffer Ajer, Jozo Simunovic, and Jack Hendry all got minutes at the back. But it’s fair to say names like Hendry don’t inspire confidence in the supporters.

So if Jullien makes his debut against St Gallen tomorrow, the likes of Hendry and Marvin Compper will be one step down in the pecking order.

Christopher Jullien will hopefully make his debut tomorrow (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

But in saying that, Celtic still haven’t totally recovered from their defensive losses last season. Both Filip Benkovic AND Dedryck Boyata departed the club at the end of the season. And Lennon, speaking in the Scottish Sun, confirmed he could still be in the market for another centre-back.

“It’s serious money but the market is where it is now (for Jullien). We have been quoted that amount of money for players in the Championship as well.

“It’s just the market value. It’s a lot of money for us but the club think it’s a good bit of business. We will possibly need another centre-half too.”

Celtic’s defenders need more competition

Another signing, such as the return of Benkovic, would be welcomed by the support. After all, it would then mean that we had four reliable, solid centre-backs competing for places at the club.

Should we have two of our top defenders ever out at the same time, Celtic would currently need the likes of Hendry or Compper to step in. If we’re to truly rid ourselves of any chance of that seriously happening, we could do with one more body.

Many Celtic fans will want Jack Hendry nowhere near the side this season (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

As it stands, the current first-choice partnership should be Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer. Ideally, if both were injured, a fresh partnership of Jozo Simunovic and another new signing would mean we have solid strength in depth.

Lennon, however, despite being open to it, doesn’t appear to be overly-committal. That’s fine for the present moment, especially considering we’re in dire need of a right-back just now. That has to be the club’s priority and nothing else.

Neil Lennon and Peter Lawwell still have big work to do in this window (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Interest in the likes of Peter Ankersen seems to have cooled for now. Other names such as George Baldock and Timothy Castagne look like pipe dreams at the moment too.

But there’s big work to be done in that area, and it’s another position where Celtic need at least two signings as well. So the Jullien signing represented a solid start to the defensive work, but there’s still plenty needing done.