Vasilis Barkas finally left Celtic this summer, at least on a temporary basis, to join FC Utrecht on a season-long loan. The Greek goalkeeper’s time at Parkhead can only be described as a nightmare. He was signed from AEK Athens in the summer of 2020 for a transfer fee believed to be around £4.5 million, after the Hoops failed to bring back Fraser Forster from Southampton.
He arrived with a lot of hopes and expectations though. Barkas had been excellent during his time at AEK Athens and was a regular part of the Greek national team as well.
It is safe to say that things did not turn out as one would have hoped. Barkas played some decent football early on but then appeared to lose his confidence soon and never regained it. There were hopes that he could recover last season under the management of Ange Postecoglou but after a couple of early mistakes from the Greek international shot-stopper, Joe Hart was brought in from Tottenham Hotspur and has been the number 1 ever since.
“I regretted that decision because things didn’t turn out the way I thought they would. But you can’t know beforehand.
“What saddens me is that some money was spent on me and I didn’t feel the investment.
“I didn’t feel I was an important part of the team. But it may not even be the team’s fault. It was a Covid year, everything was different.
“The first six months I didn’t know my teammates, we were in different locker rooms. Celtic is a huge club, but I wouldn’t recommend a goalkeeper to come here.”
Barkas makes Celtic confession after leaving on loan for FC Utrecht
In his first season at Celtic, the club did try to make Barkas their first-choice goalkeeper but it just did not end up working out. Ultimately, the likes of Scott Bain and Conor Hazard would get runs in the first-team as well but nobody was really the number one.
In his second season at Celtic, Barkas barely featured after being given most of his chances to impress in pre-season. Instead, Hart came in and established himself as the man between the posts and a leader as well.
This summer, Celtic have signed Benjamin Siegrist on a free transfer, while Tobi Oluwayemi is coming through the ranks as well. Thus, it does not feel like Barkas has a long-term future at Parkhead.
This article was originally posted here