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Seville season hero believes Lennon has got critical partnership spot on

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Johan Mjallby believes that Neil Lennon has got things spot on in the centre of defence.

A year ago Filip Benkovic and Dedryck Boyata were starting to form a strong pairing but that only ever going to last one season due to contractual situations.

Celtic fans are used to looking for strikers and goal-scorers but getting the combination right in defence has been the cornerstone for some of their most successful sides.

Brendan Rodgers never managed to get the blend right but with £7m spent on Christopher Jullien Celtic appear to have got it right with Fraser Forster providing extra security behind the back four.

Neil has everything in that pairing of Ajer and Jullien,” Mjallby told The Sun. “They are very good in the air, strong physically, and they read the game well. Ajer is very good on the ball, and Jullien looks comfortable when he gets time.

Jullien came with a big price tag and big things were expected. It took him time to get used to life at Celtic, but Jullien is a very good defender. He’s got the height and physicality and likes to go in for a tackle as well. He’s got all the ingredients to be a successful defender for Celtic.

Ajer is going to become a great centre-half, but I was also really impressed at how good he was at right-back. It surprised me, but he’s shown he can play in different positions.”

Unlike last season’s defensive pairing Ajer and Jullien are both on long term contracts which gives Lennon an element of comfort for forward planning.

With Jozo Simunovic and Nir Bitton both expected to be out injured for another couple of weeks the hoops boss is short of options at the back.

Jullien was substituted late on in the 3-1 win over Kilmarnock on Sunday but is expected to be available for tomorrow’s Betfred Cup tie against Partick Thistle.

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