By Alan Hutton

7th Sep, 2021 | 5:00pm

Hutton hails 'massive' Jullien boost after confirmed Celtic news

Alan Hutton has suggested Celtic could be boosted by the imminent return of Christopher Jullien after the Europa League squad reveal.

The former Scotland international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the Frenchman had been a “massive loss” for the Bhoys.

The French centre-back has been included in Celtic’s Europa League squad to face Real Betis, Ferencvaros and Bayer Leverkusen in Group G.

Just last week, the Athletic (1st September) reported that Jullien is set to remain out for the ‘foreseeable future’.

The former Toulouse defender is still sidelined with a knee injury he sustained at the end of 2020.

However, Hutton suggested a return could be around the corner after the squad reveal.

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“He can’t be too far away if he’s been included in the squad,” he told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge.

“He’s a massive loss, as we all know.

“For him to come back into that defence, he will be the experienced head, the organiser, and he will definitely make them stronger.

“They’ll be desperate for him to come back, and if he’s in the European squad then he can’t be too far off it, which is massive news.

“It’s good for Celtic – he will only make them better.”

With Kristoffer Ajer gone, Celtic have experimented with a number of solutions at centre-back in Jullien’s absence.

Nir Bitton was briefly utilised in the back four by new boss Ange Postecoglou, but the Australian has now settled on a stable partnership of new arrival Carl Starfelt and Stephen Welsh.

Jullien joined Celtic from Toulouse for around £7million in 2019.

The 28-year-old has made 61 Hoops appearances, scoring 10 goals.

In other news, Noel Whelan thinks Celtic will be “delighted” after completing this deal.