John Hartson has told Sky Sports’s live post-match coverage of Celtic’s draw with Kilmarnock (broadcast on 9/8; 18:40) that Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer were not good enough at Rugby Park, and suggested that Neil Lennon needs to sign a new centre-back before the transfer deadline.
The Hoops were held to a 1-1 draw against Killie. In truth, Celtic were poor and rarely looked like creating the chance that may lead to a winning goal.
They did not look like conceding a second goal either. But there is no question that their centre-backs had a tough afternoon up against Nicke Kabamba.
Kilmarnock’s equaliser came from the penalty spot after Jullien made a clumsy challenge on Kabamba. And neither Celtic centre-back seemed to cope well with the Englishman.
And following the game, Hartson suggested that he was not impressed with Jullien or Ajer, and hinted that Lennon needs to add to his ranks while the window is open.
“Neil Lennon has got to go into the market and buy cover,” he told Sky Sports. “They’re the main two. That wasn’t good enough today, from Jullien in particular, who’s been excellent since he’s been at the club.
“But what can he do next week? How can he change it? He’s going to put a youngster in like [Stephen] Welsh if he did want to change it, or put [Nir] Bitton at centre-half. He’s got to go with them two again, but they’ve got to perform better.”
As Hartson notes, Jullien has been an outstanding signing. And Ajer continues to show enormous potential during his time at Parkhead.
Meanwhile, Bitton has been impressive when asked to fill in at centre-back. It is however, perhaps a gamble to not make a new signing in that area of the field.
So perhaps Celtic fans may ultimately be grateful that the draw with Kilmarnock took place while the window was open as it highlighted a potential issue for the Hoops boss to address.