According to last year’s report from the Sun, Crystal Palace were one of the few Premier League clubs interested in signing Toulouse defender Christopher Jullien. However, no deal materialised and Jullien stayed put at Toulouse.
Toulouse lost their captain and star defender Issa Diop to West Ham last summer. Jullien could have followed the suit but he stayed back at the French club after Toulouse narrowly avoided relegation last season.
And the 25-year-old has been stellar at the back this season despite the Ligue 1 club leaking in 36 goals so far. Now that Jullien has again enjoyed a good campaign back in Ligue 1, should Crystal Palace reignite their interest in the defender?
Without any second thoughts, yes they should. Crystal Palace have been very inconsistent with their performances this season. They haven’t looked reliable as far as defending is concerned. Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins might have formed a strong partnership at the back but in reality, none of them have been convincing.
If the Eagles are to challenge for a top-eight finish, they have to be more stable defensively. Certainly, Roy Hodgson can go one step forward and strengthen his backline in summer. To put things plainly, Palace should bring in Christopher Jullien when the transfer market re-opens.
Jullien is a no-nonsense, strong and physical defender who is renowned for his aerial ability and goalscoring prowess from set-pieces. The Frenchman plays with a certain type of maturity that defies his age, and possesses an excellent understanding of how to defend. He can outmuscle defenders with ease and whilst he is not the quickest along the ground, the 25-year-old possesses the wonderful ability to be able to read the game, which more than makes up for his lack of pace.
The 6ft 5in ace would be the ideal defensive partner for Sakho as part of a two, or alongside the Frenchman and Tomkins as part of three. He has the attributes to thrive in the Premier League and could definitely take his game to the next level under Roy Hodgson.
Jullien will be entering his peak and is certain to attract a lot of interest from European clubs in summer after another solid season in France.
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Hence, if Hodgson manages to bring the towering Frenchman to Crystal Palace next season, the Premier League’s mid-table clubs will surely be casting envious eyes over the Eagles’ summer transfer business.
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