Postecoglou believes that could be about to change when the cinch Premiership campaign resumes in mid-January, with the Celtic manager able to give his most positive update yet on the situation regarding long-term injury Christopher Jullien.
The hulking centre-back has now been a full year sidelined with the knee ligament damage he sustained in a collision with the post during Celtic’s 3-0 win over Dundee United on December 30, 2021. Initially, following surgery, the Frenchman was expected to be back in contention for the first time around October, but this timescale required to be consistently pushed back.
Jullien’s one full injury-free season following a £7m move from Toulouse in the summer of 2019 proved hugely successful. The aerial presence of the 6ft 4in assured performer in both boxes and the 28-year-old’s attributes would appear to make him a natural foil for Cameron Carter-Vickers at the heart of Postecoglou’s defence. The Celtic manager does not underestimate that potential value.
“He’s had a couple of little setbacks but we are hoping now that he’s at a point where he’s ready to train fully with the team and make himself available,” said the manager. He’ll be a great addition, he’ll be like a new signing for us and we are looking forward to having him back. He’s good player, he’s very commanding, he’s very confident in himself. So we are keen to get him involved and I’m sure he can add to us.”
As well as additions in the form of transfer arrivals, Postecoglou expects to be bolstered for attacking artillery by the end of the winter shutdown as injuries afflicting a number of personnel are alleivated. These bedevilled his squad across the closing months of 2021.
“We are hopeful over some long-termers - [Giorgos] Giakoumakis, Jullien, and Jota. There are a whole host I could go through,” he said of possible January returns. “I’m pretty hopeful that the majority, by the time the resumption comes, will be there or thereabouts, which will be great for us. James Forrest is one of those as well.”