Anthony Ralston was supposed to have his breakthrough campaign last season, so why isn’t he flying at Celtic?

The Scottish right-back made an impact when he broke into the Hoops first-team last term. Coming up against the likes of Neymar and Edison Cavani, the world was at his feet. At just 19 years of age, he accumulated seven Celtic outings in the first two months of the season.

Yet, a severe knee injury kept him out of the game for the best part of five months. It curtailed his development, and all of a sudden Mikael Lustig had earned his place back in the side.

Given the continuously poor displays from Cristian Gamboa down the right, Ralston’s failure to capitalise has been disappointing.

Anthony Ralston tussled with the likes of Neymar last season (Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

Upon returning from injury, he was swiftly farmed out to Dundee United to help their promotion push. That ultimately fell flat on its face, however, and after 15 appearances he was back at Parkhead.

The move to United was beneficial for him. He got a handful of first-team appearances in a very competitive league. The pressures of trying to help the Tangerines get back up would’ve been idea preparation for him ahead of coming back to Celtic.

This was supposed to be a year where Ralston made a strong mark on this Celtic squad. He was to lay the foundations down for a long and successful career with the Scottish champions.

Hardly any match-day appearances

Instead? He’s made just two match-day appearances out of the last 24. He’s now third-choice right-back and struggling to make any form of impact in the Celtic side.

Why is this the case? It’s mainly down to a combination of hard luck and just a lack of quality. When Ralston did appear for Celtic, he was solid enough without being spectacular. Torn apart against PSG was forgivable, but he never had the chance to make amends.

Ralston hasn’t made one Celtic appearance this season (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

His knee injury robbed him of a key part of his Celtic career. It was taken away from him and he’s been forced to start from the beginning yet again.

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has been evolving his team more and more as the season has gone on.

Ralston’s next opportunity at the moment is nowhere in sight. For him? He has to make sure he’s impressing in the reserve league consistently in order to pip Gamboa to the number two right-back spot.

For now, however, it’s a shame to see him falling away from first-team matters.

Related Topics