Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Noel Whelan has tipped Christopher Jullien to “kick people into action” as the centre-back closes in on a return to action for Celtic.

The former Aberdeen and Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has suggested that the Hoops have been missing the centre-back the most during his injury layoff.

As confirmed by Neil Lennon at his press conference, the 27-year-old is set to return to training and could be in contention after the international break after recovering from a back injury.

Whelan believes that Jullien’s experience and quality has been sorely missed by the Bhoys and that his return will be a welcome boost after the two-week break from domestic action.

Asked if Jullien could solve the Hoops’ defensive issues, Whelan told Football Insider: “Yeah, an experienced mind in there, you know, someone who has been pretty consistent for them.

“I think maybe that’s the player that they’re missing the most. It seems to me that he’s he’s the one in that central defence that’s the leader, he’s the one that keeps all together.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“He’s the one that can kick people into action at the minute. It’s like you either sink or swim, and they’re sinking right now in games.”

Jullien has played seven times across all competitions for the Bhoys this season but has sat out their last 11 games.

Lennon, who has rotated between Shane Duffy, Kristoffer Ajer, Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed at centre-back, has seen his side keep just one clean sheet in their last six matches.

In other Celtic news, Bhoys tipped to bin £5million man and replace him in January.