According to the Sun, Southampton are watching over Toulouse defender, Christopher Jullien, as a potential target for this summer transfer window.
Standing at 6 ft 4 inches, the 24-year-old plys his trade in Ligue 1, and has built up a reputation this season as a reliable and commanding centre back.
Despite this being the Frenchman’s first year in the top flight of his home country, he has missed just three game this season, featuring in 31 League fixtures – this has helped Toulouse climb up to 11th place in the table with four games still to play.
This season has been somewhat of a breakthrough year for Jullien, who prior to becoming a dependable first choice Ligue 1 centre-back, has been playing at a much lower standard.
Jullien started his senior career with Auxerre in Ligue 2, having fought his way into the first team through the academy. But after just two years with the club, the Frenchman was snapped up by Bundesliga side FC Freiburg on a free transfer. He failed to make an impact with the first team however, and went on to play 49 games for the second team, before being loaned to Ligue 2 side Dijon for the 2015-16 season. It was here that Jullien truly started to impress, and as a result, Toulouse offered him a four-year-deal in the top flight at the end of the season.
Unsurprisingly given his size, Jullien takes up a physical and combative approach to defending, often showing his greatest strengths through set pieces and aerial duels.
Jullien has also been known for his no-nonsense style of defending, showing no hesitation in clearing the ball at any cost, and having the ability to instigate attacks with long balls up to the forwards.
Jullien isn’t just effective in his own box either, as he’s managed to conjure up an impressive five goals in all competitions this season too – the same tally as both Jay Rodriguez and Shane Long!
But whilst many many be hoping that this transfer would be a nice ‘addition’ to the squad, the report states that Jullien would be signed as a replacement for Virgil Van Dijk. And whilst this may well prove to be typical gutter journalism to simply generate more clicks, my opinion of such as a transfer strategy remains unchanged; any centre-back shipped in this summer should be there to join Van Dijk, not replace him.