Cristian Gamboa finally finding game-time away from Celtic

By David Walton

February 18, 2020

Cristian Gamboa appears to have settled nicely at his new surroundings as he strives to keep VFL Bochum in the Bundesliga 2.

Gamboa spent three years at Celtic, and, incredibly, only managed 31 appearances between the summer of 2016 and 2019 (Transfermarkt). Signed by Brendan Rodgers from West Brom, his pace was supposed to help give us real competition for the right-back position.

Instead, Gamboa proved to be one of our more forgetful signings in recent years. He was second-choice to Mikael Lustig for long spells before being bumped down to third choice behind Jeremy Toljan towards the end of his Celtic career.

Bochum’s Cristian Gamboa (Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

However, after moving to pastures new in the summer, Gamboa has been finding plenty of game-time with Bochum in Germany.

So far this season, the former Celtic man has racked up 15 appearances and started all but one of them. Had he not been injured for a brief spell during the end of October and start of November, he likely would’ve had three further starts to his name too.

Closing in on Celtic minutes

Yet the most incredible stat is that he’s already closing in on the same number of minutes that he had in three years at Celtic. Overall at Parkhead, Gamboa chalked up 2,122 minutes. At Bochum, he’s now on 1,216 minutes of action (Transfermarkt).

That means that he’s already got well over half-way towards what he managed in three years at Parkhead. It’s a massive improvement compared to his situation at Celtic.

Neil Lennon didn’t field Gamboa once after he was appointed in February. In fact, the Costa Rica international didn’t even make a single matchday squad under the current Celtic manager.

Cristian Gamboa at Celtic (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Yet there was no bitterness from the right-back when he left the club in the summer. Gamboa stated on Instagram when he departed that he and his family were “leaving a piece of our hearts in Glasgow”, as he thanked Celtic and the supporters for welcoming his family.

So it’s a delight to see him playing regularly in Germany again. What Gamboa was to the club was a good servant. Yes, his time here was disappointing individually. However, he still left the club a treble-treble winner and managed to get Champions League experience under his belt too.

He’ll hopefully make more of a success of it in Germany. But whatever happens, nobody can doubt the right-back’s attitude in Glasgow.