Whenever the new Celtic manager takes a good look at the squad, he’ll have a major call to make on Vasilis Barkas.
Nobody knows as of yet what that call will be. Whether he’ll become the club’s number one shot-stopper again, or whether the club do all they can do sell him. Whether he’ll be in the manager’s plans, or so far out of them that his future will become inevitable.
There was some interesting news over the weekend of course. It had been reported by Greek outlet Sportime that Barkas wanted to stay at Parkhead. This came after AEK Athens had hoped to take him back on loan. Apparently that’s not something the big goalkeeper is interested in. Instead, he wants to stay at Parkhead.
But there’s the question of whether he deserves to. He was given 20 appearances this season by Neil Lennon [Transfermarkt]. However, look at the situation he was in as well as a closer look at the stats he picked up.
He’s played in 13 Premiership matches this season and only conceded 10 goals. Six of them ended in clean sheets. That’s despite the fact he hasn’t had a settled or even a good-quality defence in front of him.
New Celtic manager = new opportunity for Vasilis Barkas
As well as that, he’s had to come into both a different footballing environment and a different lifestyle. There are enormous challenges for a Greek footballer coming to Britain after spending so long in their homeland. You have to give them a proper opportunity to grow as well as the right backing.
It’s easy to forget, but Barkas hasn’t even been here for 12 months yet. He signed on July 30th. About a month or two later he was being criticised for a perceived lack of ability. A lack of ability that has seen him play at both international and Champions League level.
He was then backed by Neil Lennon before being dropped three games later. Hardly the kind of backing you would want from your boss.
So if we’re talking about providing players with clean slates under the new boss, surely Barkas deserves one more than anybody? He nearly has a year in Scotland under his belt. Now we should be expecting some return for the £4.5million spent on him [Scottish Sun].
And that’s something the Celtic supporters are backing too. As they discussed whether Barkas deserves another opportunity under the new manager, here’s what they had to say:
“Had a decent record”
Yes, need to see how he develops with a better coaching set up. He had a decent record before coming to us. Deserves a chance.
— Chris McGraw (@chrismcgraw84) April 3, 2021
I can’t see what choice we have. He’s under contract and I really can’t see any other clubs wanting to take him off us after the season he’s had. Can’t see us forking out on a replacement either while he’s here. Hopefully he comes good in the end 🤷🏻♂️
— Jock (@Jocksbhoys) April 3, 2021
Deserve or not He has a contract 🤦♂️
Do you think you can say Na didn’t work out there’s the door ?
He will be here till the End of his contract Unless Celtic pay him off (generally the full wage of his contract) or someone buys him
Then again he may come good
— John Mccor (@jmcc404) April 3, 2021
Yes 100%. Was given a vote of confidence under lennon then dropped after 2 games which isn’t ideal for anyone trying to settle
— SSSean FFFarrell (@seanfarrell2) April 3, 2021
Yes, definitely. He’s not the only one who has struggled this year and being a goalie your mistakes are magnified.
— David Skinner (@DavidSk53523979) April 3, 2021
He deserves a chance with a actual well structured defence in front of him
— GlasgowFIFA 🏴🍀 (@GlasgowFIFA_) April 3, 2021
Ye can’t bring a new goalkeeper in to an ever-changing system. He was switching between centre halves and even between 3 and 4 at the back. How’s a goalie meant to settle into that. No time to develop a relationship with a concrete back line. A think he can be a success still.
— Jesus of ML1 (@LordOfSeaAndSky) April 3, 2021
Saw a lot of positives from him at the start of the season. He caught balls that normal keepers wouldn’t come for or would just bat away. He was always quick to start an attack as well when he had the ball.
He will come good.
— 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐑𝐓𝐈𝐒𝐓 🍩 (@YoungRichArtist) April 3, 2021