From what I see in photographs, Christopher Jullien, who completed his transfer to Celtic this morning, is 8’6”, chiselled, and already filling the Celtic Park tunnel. We needed at least one central defender, so I am delighted he is in so early in the transfer window.
Second observation (after his stature): he is not a ‘project’, or at least, he’s an older and more expensive project than we normally buy. We will continue to sign players for less than €8m, but there is also value in this space. If this is the new norm, it is where we should be aiming.
Christopher will join Kristofer as our top central defender pairing, but we lost Boyata and Benkovic, so there remains a gap in the squad – perhaps one for a more traditional looking ‘project’.
The shadow of Daniel Prodan lingers in Scottish football. Prodan was a £2.2m Rangers signing in 1998, but whatever was done at his medical, a knee injury was not diagnosed. The player never played a game for the club, which was so chastened, it passed up the chance to sing John Hartson a year later. Hartson had a perfectly good knee, which had recovered from an earlier operation. Hartson went on to do well elsewhere, including against Rangers, who, having bought Prodan, lost Hartson, then punished by Hartson, were cursed by a unique treble.
Two years ago Celtic signed South African central defender, Rivaldo Cotzee, subject to a medical, which he failed, due to a knee injury. The player has played only a dozen games since, all in South Africa.
What do we know about knee injuries? Sometimes they get better, sometimes they don’t. David Turnbull must now wait for the outcome of an operation next week, which will determine his future in the game. Let’s hope he makes a full recovery; he was certainly a player I looked forward to seeing at Celtic.