Report: Christopher Jullien's Celtic debut could be tomorrow
Celtic defender Christopher Jullien’s debut could be tomorrow against Swiss outfit St Gallen.
The Hoops take to Switzerland for the final game of their pre-season tour. After two wins in-a-row, Neil Lennon will be looking for that winning run to continue when his side face the Swiss Super League outfit.
Celtic come into the contest after having won 6-1 against Pinkafeld in their opening match and a 2-1 win over Wiener Sportclub on Saturday. Sandwiched in between, Celtic completed the signing of Christopher Jullien from Toulouse for around £7million (BBC).
When he could first possibly feature is the next question fans will be asking regarding their new Frenchman. But, according to the Scottish Sun, Jullien is ready to take part with the team tomorrow against the Swiss side.
Interestingly, in the same piece, Lennon confirmed that Jullien is coming in to be Celtic’s first-choice centre-back. Given the fee splashed out for him, that’s no surprise. But what it does mean is that Celtic will want to have him integrated before the Champions League tie against Sarajevo.
Jullien’s debut should see him partner Ajer
The natural partner for the towering Frenchman is Norwegian Kristoffer Ajer. Ajer was one of our real breakthrough stars once again last season, and it will be interesting to see how he pairs with Jullien.
One of Jullien’s biggest tasks will be getting used to how much ball possession out defenders have. But he and Ajer will hopefully provide a positive base towards spearheading 10-in-a-row.
At first glance, this does look like bad news for Jozo Simunovic. He could be the one who has to drop down to being sub once again. But it’s evident he’ll also see plenty of minutes this season in any case. The towering defender scored a couple of vital goals for Lennon last season, and the Northern Irishman won’t have forgotten.
It could even be the case that he is the one partnering Jullien against St Gallen considering it’s only a friendly. That is, of course if Jullien even plays.
But with this being the last match before Sarajevo next week, you have to imagine Lennon wants to get some minutes into Jullien’s legs.
That’s the kind of opportunity St Gallen will bring Celtic tomorrow. With Jullien having not played since May, Lennon needs to hope he builds up enough sharpness to feature next week.
There’s always the unlikely chance that Lennon may not include him in the squad for the first qualifier if he isn’t fit. But that wouldn’t be ideal. Tomorrow, we’ll hopefully all get a chance to see what level he’s at fitness-wise.