Many Celtic supporters are ready to give Vasilis Barkas a fresh start

By David Walton

June 13, 2021

Many Celtic supporters believe disappointing 2020 signing Vasilis Barkas deserves another chance at Parkhead.

Barkas had the season from hell in his debut campaign in Glasgow. Signing for the club from AEK Athens for £4.5million in the summer [Scottish Sun], the Greek hasn’t lived up to expectations.

Barkas was given two spells in the first-team throughout the season, but on both occasions would eventually find himself dropped for Scott Bain. Fans have voiced concerns in the past about the goalkeeper’s shot-stopping ability.

Outside of the 5-0 win in Dingwall against Ross County back in September, Barkas hasn’t stopped enough. Much of his clean-sheet record is simply down to having very little to do.

However, supporters appear willing to accept how difficult it’s been for the foreign imports.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

Covid has made Celtic debut campaign a nightmare for Vasilis Barkas

Even in a normal year, this would’ve been a hugely challenging campaign for the former AEK man. The fact he arrived into a totally different country and footballing environment can’t be ignored. However, the issues raised with Covid has only heightened the scale of difficulty.

Barkas would’ve had a limited support group during his time here. Trips back home were a no-go, and spending your first year in a country whilst in lockdown can’t have been easy. Barkas was going through enough change as it was.

Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

These things can have a mental effect on a footballer’s ability to perform. We won’t assume that was the case with Vasilis as everyone reacts differently. But it is a possible excuse for just how inconsistent he’s been.

Interestingly, however, he still has a 50% clean sheet record at the club. In 22 games, he’s bagged 11 shutouts and conceded 21 [Trasnfermarkt]. He ended the season with two clean sheets against St Johnstone and Hibernian too to give himself a confidence booster heading into the summer.

There have been some reports that Barkas could be heading back to Greece this summer [Scottish Sun]. However, for many Celtic fans, there’s a desire to see a bit more from him in his second year:

In other news, we take a look at what to expect at Celtic this week.