Christopher Jullien weekend example proves why Celtic should shop abroad this January
Two highly rated central-defenders were on opposing teams at Celtic Park at the weekend, but there was only one winner in the battle between Christopher Jullien and Scott McKenna.
The former outshone the latter with an imperious defensive display that also saw him net the opener – his fourth in a Celtic shirt. Jullien’s Celtic may not have kept a clean sheet but it was still an accomplished performance from a backline seemingly improving with every passing match.
Four of the back five – including Fraser Forster – weren’t even at the club six months ago, showing just how far they have come in a short space of time.
Around that period, the club were heavily linked with Aberdeen’s McKenna. The Scottish Sun even reported that the club had seen a £5million bid knocked back for the Scotland defender. Both clubs denied this was the case in the subsequent days, but the fact remains that McKenna was once seen as a genuine option worth pursuing for the Hoops.
Celtic must follow Jullien path again this January
Thankfully we decided to cast the net wider and splashed out just marginally more on £7million Jullien (BBC). The benefits have been clear to see with the Frenchman excelling both domestically and on the continent, where McKenna would have likely struggled.
It also gives us a welcome bit of advice as we aim to strengthen other areas of the squad in January. Signing another striker is going to be a key theme of next month with no shortage of names already linked with the club.
Many of those have been players based in Scotland. The likes of Lawrence Shankland and Uche Ikpeazu have both been mentioned but, just like with McKenna, Celtic can do so much better by looking further afield.
We’ve had good success in buying from Scotland in recent years, see Ryan Christie and Stuart Armstrong for obvious examples, but there’s not a great deal in the Premiership that would currently whet the appetite.
Scottish sides are also getting bolder with their transfer valuations meaning that the better value may lie outwith. So as we enter another manic month, hopefully the recruitment department won’t settle for second best.