Cristian Gamboa’s season report is perhaps one of the poorest of the lot.
It depends what you want to blame this on. You could sit on the side of the fence where you feel the Costa Rican wasn’t given a chance at Parkhead. Or, very easily, you could be on the other side and believe he simply wasn’t good enough.
Neil Lennon quite clearly believed the latter was the case. Gamboa wasn’t offered a new contract, and appears to have left the club permanently. And so brings to a close a near three-year stint in Glasgow that reaped just 31 appearances and three assists.
Only seven of those would come this season. As was expected, Gamboa started the campaign as second-choice down the right. Behind the experienced veteran Mikael Lustig, Gamboa started the season by waiting in the wings for his opportunity.
And he had a glorious one too. With Lustig beginning to show some frailties towards the tail-end of the 2017-18 campaign, Gamboa had the chance to stake his claim with thick-and-fast matches requiring rotation in the early stages of the season.
His first opportunity came in the double-header against Rosenborg. At home, he was caught out of position, allowing Rosenborg to nab an opener as he tried to track back. Fortunately, Celtic would win the tie with Gamboa playing both legs without doing anything extraordinary.
Early-season chances weren’t taken by Gamboa
Another quick chance arrived in the Betfred Cup against Partick Thistle at Firhill. Two stunning assists for Tom Rogic and Moussa Dembele respectively were highlights. It probably says a lot about the rest of the campaign that those assists were the highlight of Gamboa’s season.
Very quickly, the Costa Rican was out of the team after another unspectacular display against Suduva in the Europa League playoff round.
Gamboa would only feature in one Premiership match all campaign. A December draw at Fir Park would be his only opportunity to impress. Out of the other 37 Premiership matches, Gamboa only made the match-day squad in seven of them.
The fact Brendan Rodgers felt the need to go and get Jeremy Toljan in January says a lot about Gamboa’s influence at Parkhead. He was an afterthought. He’s proven over the course of his 31 games that he was never going to be good enough to break through.
With his contract coming to an end, both parties would’ve subsequently have been happy to part ways. Gamboa’s season went just as Gamboa’s career at Parkhead has – underwhelming.