By Alan Hutton

5th May, 2021 | 8:00pm

Pundit bemoans 'massive' Jullien injury blow at Celtic

Alan Hutton has admitted Christopher Jullien is a “massive miss” for Celtic after John Kennedy bemoaned a lack of physicality from his defenders. 

The former Scotland star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 37-year-old had taken aim at centre-backs Kristoffer Ajer and Stephen Welsh with his comments.

As quoted by the Scotsman, Kennedy insisted Celtic lacked the “height” and “physicality” to compete with sides from the likes of set-pieces.

The interim boss suggested it would be something Celtic would address “going forward”.

The Hoops have been without Jullien since he suffered a serious knee injury in December.

Celtic lined up with a centre-back pairing of 6ft 6in Ajer and 6ft 2in Stephen Welsh [Transfermarkt] in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Rangers.

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Asked if the Hoops should expect more from the defensive duo, Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “100 per cent. These are the guys you look to. Your centre-halves are no-nonsense, in your face, win every header possible.

“That’s what you expect. A defender defends first, it’s as simple as that. For him to come out and say that means that he wasn’t happy with how things went. Yes, there were situations where they could be more physical.

“I mean Kristoffer Ajer, he always looks good when he’s running out with the ball. He does those big charges up that pitch with.

“That’s good, as long as you’re defending 10 out of 10 at the back, winning all your headers, duels and battles. He obviously wants more from him.

“But again, it’s another player whose future is up in the air for me. It’s a big one, he’s the main centre half. Christopher Jullien’s a massive miss. Although Welsh has come in and done well, I think there’s still a lot of sorting out to be done.”

Ajer has played 44 times for Celtic this season, missing just four games due to injury or quarantine.

Meanwhile, Jullien, who could reportedly be out until September, made 14 appearances before being sidelined.

In other news, Wayne Rooney has set sights on signing Celtic player if Derby stay up this season.