Celtic teammate at a loss over Vasilis Barkas' difficult Hoops spell

By Euan Davidson

December 15, 2021

Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas and his struggles since joining from AEK Athens are nothing to do with his ability.

That’s the verdict of his follow Bhoys shot-stopper Ross Doohan, who’s out on loan at Tranmere Rovers. Doohan has spent pre-seasons with the Greek goalie, and is at a loss as to why it hasn’t worked out for him.

Barkas was brought in to excited curiosity after the departure of Fraser Forster. The 13-cap Greece international, signed for £4.5m [BBC], came with ambitions of winning the ten, and said he didn’t feel pressure.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Unfortunately, some high-profile mistakes, an inability to adjust to life at the club and some harsh reviews in the press meant Barkas fell out of favour quickly. However, Ross Doohan can’t put his finger on why it hasn’t gone better for Barkas.

He told Football Scotland: “From what I’ve seen of Barkas, he’s been good.

“Obviously I was on loan a lot last year and didn’t work much with him but in pre-season I liked working with him and learn from him. He’s a good goalkeeper.

“It’s unfortunate some things have happened but I really think he’s a good player. I don’t know too much about his personal life, you’d maybe have to ask him, but it’s maybe not quite worked out.

“It’s absolutely not because he’s a bad goalkeeper. It’s just one of those unfortunate things.”

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Vasilis Barkas gets Doohan backing but it’s just not worked out at Celtic

Poor Vasilis Barkas. It really hasn’t been at all easy for the Greek goalkeeper since arriving at Celtic.

On paper, he looked well worth it. He kept 61 clean sheets in 111 games for AEK Athens, was an international player, and looked ready to make a step up to the demands of a club like Celtic. But clean sheets stats don’t tell you everything – he has 11 for Celtic in 23 outings. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be replacing Joe Hart any time soon.

Doohan, at 23, is enjoying his second season with Tranmere Rovers. Along with the likes of Conor Hazard and Tobi Oluwayemi, he represents an exciting core of goalkeeping talent from the Celtic Academy.

Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Barkas, meanwhile, doesn’t look as if he has a future at Celtic. The club would surely indulge a reasonable bid for him next month, if not on loan then permanently.

As things stand, his career is in stasis at Celtic. It’d genuinely be great to see him prosper elsewhere.

Along with the likes of Shane Duffy and Jonjoe Kenny, Barkas never really got to have a normal Celtic experience. No fans in stadia, being locked indoors most of the time; it would’ve been difficult for anyone.

As Doohan suggests, there has to be something about him. Those who work with him first-hand suggest as much.