This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Former Celtic favourite Bobo Balde has given advice to defender Christopher Jullien after his switch from Toulouse to Celtic this summer, as reported by The Sunday Post.
Balde once made the move from Toulouse to the Hoops back in 2001, so knows a bit about adjusting to defensive life in Glasgow from Ligue 1.
Winning ten trophies with the club, Balde established himself as one of the best centre-backs in Scotland and he’s passed on some of his knowledge to Jullien, offering to have a direct chat with him in the future.
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As quoted by The Sunday Post, the 43-year-old said:
“He is very tall and has a wonderful physique. I don’t think strikers are going to enjoy playing against him. But he also has elegance and is very comfortable with the ball when he is possession.
“I have not spoken to Christopher about the move, but I would gladly do so if he wants to have a nice conversation.
“I would simply tell him to enjoy the moment of being with a massive football club such as Celtic. Enjoy the wonderful supporters and cherish the feelings they give you.
“There is nothing more enjoyable than hearing almost 60,000 Celtic supporters singing your name, and them believing in your ability to help the team.
“The way to do that is to give 100% in every game. That must always be the starting point, the absolute minimum, for any Celtic player. Once you are familiar with your surroundings and your team-mates, then the natural ability starts to flow.”
With Celtic again selling out their season tickets for 2019/20, Jullien is assured to be playing in front of tens of thousands of fans every second week at Celtic Park, with expectations high that the team can deliver their ninth consecutive league title.
The Hoops defence was a major priority heading into the summer after the departures of Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic, so the arrival of Jullien could make a big difference to the fortunes of Neil Lennon’s side.
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As Balde points out, the fans adore commitment from players, so it’s important that Jullien attacks the position with confidence from the off.
The first target this coming season is qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stages, and if the centre-back can help deliver that he’ll be well on his way to being an established first-teamer.