It is ‘hugely important’ that Celtic centre-back Christopher Jullien enjoys more playing time after injury, says Ben Dinnery.
The Lowdown: Jullien’s injury woes
The 29-year-old has suffered a torrid time of things in the injury department over the past 18 months, seeing himself sidelined for almost that entire period.
Jullien returned from a year out with a knee injury back in January but he has continued to find first-team football hard to come by at Celtic, appearing for just 16 minutes in 2022 to date.
The Hoops are now in the final straight in their Scottish Premiership title battle with Rangers and with multiple domestic competitions still to play for it could be that Jullien is finally called upon at some point.
The Latest: Dinnery provides his thoughts
“These minutes are hugely important. You’ve got to manage your squad. You need to ensure that those players on the fringes are ready and engaged should they be needed.
“But also for Jullien, it’s an opportunity to go out there and build that confidence that he’s over that knee injury. Hopefully, he can get a little bit of momentum going now.
“I’m sure he has one eye on getting a good pre-season behind him and pushing for first-team contention next season.”
The Verdict: Could still play a key role
In truth, it is easier said than done when it comes to Ange Postecoglou throwing Jullien back into the team, given the significance of their remaining fixtures.
If the Frenchman is not up to speed, it could end up having a negative impact on Celtic’s title charge, at a time when Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt are performing well at centre-back.
The best bet is to hopefully bring Jullien on in games that are already won late in the day, allowing him to slowly get match practice back in his legs. A rushed return could have an adverse effect, both on him and the Hoops, and he should be looking at next season as a more realistic aim.
In other news, a journalist has reacted to a ‘lift’ for Celtic. Read more here.
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