Noel Whelan believes the imminent return of Celtic centre-back Christopher Jullien could be a massive boost for manager Ange Postecoglou.
The Frenchman has been sidelined since last December with a serious knee injury but he is expected to be back in full training after the international break, and Whelan claims the defender will help organise the backline:
“Celtic are lacking in height and physicality. When you’ve got someone like Jullien back in the side, who is a good six-foot-five, then that will help with their ability to defend set-piece situations. He’s been at the club a long time and he’s been one of the most consistent centre-halves when he’s played.”
“I think he’ll be like a new signing; he will add real quality to that Celtic side. If he’s up to speed then he has to be starting – he’s a leader, a talker. They’ve gone out and got new centre-halves in but they haven’t quite compared to Jullien’s track record. The competition for places in that position will only make Celtic even stronger.”
The Hoops have struggled to defend crosses and set-pieces at the start of this season so Whelan is right to point out that Jullien’s return to the fold should help alleviate some of the issues that the defence has been having.
Reports suggest that the 28-year-old could be given minutes before the end of October, and while fans will be keen to see him back in action as soon as possible, he may need several weeks or months to get up to full speed, especially considering how long he has been out for.