Noel Whelan has been left raving as Christopher Jullien closes in on a comeback from a lengthy injury lay-off at Celtic.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aberdeen and Leeds striker has insisted the French centre-back has been sorely missed by Neil Lennon in recent months and that his return will be a welcome boost at Parkhead.
The 27-year-old took to his personal Twitter account to deliver an update on his recovery from a back injury, accompanied by behind-the-scenes footage of his rehab process.
1st part of the rehab is done, thanks Aimery, we've put a hell of a work 💪🏽
It's never easy to recover from this kind of injury, next step is getting back to 100%🍀
Grateful for all your messages 💚
Can't wait to be on the pitch again with my teammates 👊🏽#HoopsUpsideYourHead pic.twitter.com/tNElPoivYw
— Chris Jullien.. (@Chri6ViF) November 19, 2020
Jullien has missed 12 games across all competitions with his injury problem, with Celtic having struggled at times during his absence.
After watching the Jullien update, Whelan has insisted Celtic are about to get the leadership and “steeliness” at the back they need.
He told Football Insider: “He’s been at the club for a fair amount of time, he knows what it’s all about. A very capable defender and we’ve been seeing the frailties that Celtic have had this year, that’s where it’s been.
“That backline and two centre-halves, finding those partnerships and people not playing for their full potential, little mistakes. You need leaders out there when things aren’t going right and he’s definitely the one, and one of those players that you would look up to be a voice out there on the field.
“I think Neil needs him back as quickly as possible and that competition for places, that kind of steeliness you see Rangers have, I think he would bring that back to the centre-half positions.”
Jullien, who joined Celtic from Tolouse last summer, has played 53 times for the Bhoys to date, although he has made only seven appearances this season.
Neil Lennon also has the likes of Shane Duffy, Kristoffer Ajer, Nir Bitton and Stephen Welsh at his disposal at the heart of the defence.