Life is really good at Celtic right now but there is always room for improvement. Brendan Rodgers’ era at Parkhead has started on the best possible note with the Hoops securing Champions League qualification and have achieved a perfect start in the Premiership. However, Rodgers is still in the market to bolster his squad and make the Hoops the unanimously dominant side in Scottish football.
Celtic were quite clearly looking to bolster their options in the right-back position and having been frustrated in the pursuit of Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom, they were running checks on West Brom outcast Cristian Gamboa as per The Daily Mail. Yesterday, Sky Sports reported that the Hoops have finally made a breakthrough in a deal for the 26-year-old Costa Rican international and the pacey full-back was undergoing medical at Parkhead. Celtic today announced the transfer on their official website as the 26-year-old has signed a three-year deal at Paradise.
Even though Gamboa failed to notch a first-team place under Tony Pulis, he is still a quality full-back with plenty of experience. Missing out on Wisdom could turn out to be a blessing disguise for the Scottish champions. The Costa Rica international began his career at Municipal Liberia where he made 68 appearances before moving to Fredrikstad in 2010. After a brief spell with the Norwegian club, Gamboa moved on to Danish giants Copenhagen. His move to the Danish capital club turned out to be a disaster but a return to Norway with Rosenborg brought his career back to life.
After an excellent FIFA World Cup campaign with Costa Rica in 2014, Gamboa was snapped up by West Brom but the right-back struggled for first-team opportunities at the club and could make just 17 appearances till date for the Baggies. Badly needing a fresh start in his career, Celtic will be a great opportunity for the 26-year-old. The quality of the 26-year-old is undisputed and if you have doubts over his ability, his 50 caps for Costa Rica is enough to prove you wrong.
Gamboa is extremely agile for a full-back and has the energy to run up and down through the right flank. The Costa Rican has a relatively small frame of just 5’9″ but uses his small stature as an advantage. Thanks to his low centre of gravity, the 26-year-old makes use of even the least amount of space he gets. With his immense experience at the highest level, Gamboa is a good reader of the game and hardly has any defensive flaws.
A brilliant and swift all-round full-back who has the willingness to contribute to the team, Gamboa can prove to be one hell of a signing by Rodgers. Rodgers has not made too many signings this summer after taking the Celtic job but the few who have joined are of top quality and so is Gamboa.