GIVEN the stature of the two men and the similarities of their career path - both being central defenders who moved from Toulouse to Celtic - comparisons between Christopher Jullien and Bobo Balde are inevitable.

For Neil Lennon though, the comparisons are justified, with Jullien's style of play echoing that of the man who made the same journey to Glasgow from France some 17 years before him.

The main difference between the £7m defender and Lennon's former team-mate though, as the Celtic manager explains to his relief and with a little mischief, is that Jullien's possesses a better touch than Balde did.

“There are similarities with big Bobo, who was also a strong, dominant player," Lennon said.

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“Bobo was great for us –maybe not for the opposition. You used to hear him coming and you’d know it would be carnage.

“He did really well for us and hopefully Christopher will be the same. There are similarities but let’s just say Christoper is a bit more polished on the ball!

"We feel Christopher has very good attributes.

"He's a good age, he speaks perfect English.

"He's a man and he will add to the influence in the dressing. I have had a good chat with him."

Lennon knows that with the £7m price tag attached to Jullien comes a great deal of pressure for the player to hit the ground running, but he believes the defender will turn out to be of real value.

"It's serious money but the market is where it is now," he said.

"We have been quoted that amount of money for players in the Championship as well.

"Christopher has played at a top level in France. He has faced PSG, Lyon and Marseille and has come out of very well.

"It's just the market value. It's a lot of money for us but the club think it's a good bit of business.

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“He’s been one who came to my attention in February as the club had been looking at him for quite a while.

“We’ve worked very diligently in the background, I have spoken to him and he is excited to come here.

“He’s a very powerful, dominant centre half. He’s a good athlete but he’s also technically very good.

“He’s played in Ligue 1 in the last two seasons – and that’s Premier League level.

“We are looking to bring in quality and that is what he is."

That's not to say that Celtic's transfer business in the heart of their defence is over for the summer though.

"We will possibly need another centre half too," he said.

"We are running with (Kris) Ajer, (Jozo) Simunovic and (Jack) Hendry at the moment - and Jullien.

"So we may have to add another but Jullien is coming as No1 - he's that sort of signing.

"It sends a message out that we want to improve the squad and quality."

For all that Lennon is hoping to improve the calibre of player within his squad, he is also keen to promote and nurture the young talent that is already there.

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A lot of those young players have got game-time during this pre-season tour so far, with Mikey Johnston particularly impressing and Karamoko Dembele showing up well in his 45-minute run-out too.

"They’ve got talent and we want to look after that," he said. "They are young and you don’t want them to run before they can walk.

"We like to have them in and around the squad as it’s good for their development.

"You have to go softly softly with them at times as it’s about physical development too.

"We’re delighted with the talent they have. We think they are future players possibly.

"Karamoko is very very special for his age. But again you don’t want to hype him up as he’s already had a lot of publicity.

"We’ll just keep him ticking along in the background and he’ll come along the way he should do."