Cristian Gamboa’s game-time since arriving at Parkhead has been little enough, but if he stays then it could get even worse over the next six months.

The Costa Rican right-back is into the final six months of his contract. Added to that, he’s already third-choice in the Celtic pecking order behind Mikael Lustig and Anthony Ralston.

That’s exactly why it’s imperative that the defender finds himself a loan move this January and makes an impression elsewhere.

Cristian Gamboa has had a tough time of it at Celtic (Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

There’s absolutely no chance that Celtic will offer Gamboa a new contract. Should Celtic sign yet another top right-back whilst signing up Manny Perez, Gamboa could be pushed back to fourth choice at Parkhead if he stayed.

It could even be fifth choice if Lustig was to be offered a new contract, but that’s unlikely.

Gamboa, however, has never been able to convince at Celtic. Since arriving back in the summer of 2016, the former West Brom man has made just 31 appearances. Seven of those have come this season, but there’s unlikely to be even one more coming his way this term.

Can’t afford to be stagnating

Yet, at the same time, Gamboa isn’t even 30-years old yet. There’s no reason for him to be stagnating anywhere at this stage of his career. Should he find the right move, it’s not inconceivable that he has at least five more years of consistent game-time in him at least.

But with the additions down the right that are set to be made, he’ll have no chance at Parkhead. The emergence of Ralston also hasn’t helped him, but Gamboa hasn’t done enough to deserve a regular place.

When his contract runs out at the end of the season, his stock will be incredibly low. Not many clubs would be keen on signing a near-30 year-old right-back who’s barely played over the last three years.

Gamboa played 13 times for Costa Rica last season, and just twice for Celtic (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

That’s what makes a loan move so imperative at this stage of his career. He’s in the same boat as Dorus de Vries. A man with no future at Parkhead who needs to get himself noticed again.

For Gamboa, now is the time to get himself back out there and competing in first-teams again. His stock has only gotten lower the longer he’s stayed at Celtic.

The club could do with getting him off the wage-bill too, and a loan move at this stage benefits all parties.

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