Nightmare season continues for Celtic 'keeper Vasilis Barkas after international snub

By Euan Davidson

March 16, 2021

Poor Celtic stopper Vasilis Barkas.

Even though he’s endured a tough debut campaign for the Bhoys, he could at least say he was an international goalkeeper. However, despite being called up for November fixtures [Transfermarkt], Barkas has been left out of Greece’s latest squad.

The Greeks face Honduras, Spain and Georgia in their next three qualifiers. A big showing for his national team might just have been the tonic for Barkas, who needs to spark his season into life.

Instead, Kapino, Papadopoulos, Androutsos have been preferred, with Barkas continuing to struggle in Glasgow.

At the start of March, interim Celtic boss John Kennedy had confirmed the goalkeeper had been struggling with an ankle injury. Kennedy did, however, claim that the former AEK man was training again.

He told a press conference [HomeBhoys]:

“Barkas was injured, he had an ongoing ankle issue. We had to pull him out to try and address it and give him some treatment.

“He’s come in for the last day and a half, he did some of the sessions yesterday, he trained today, so he’s back fit.”

Vasilis Barkas on international duty / (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Celtic man Vasilis Barkas having season from hell, but can still turn things around

Confidence seems to be an issue for the 26-year-old stopper. Having raked in £4.5m for AEK Athens, and with 13 appearances for the Greece national team, he had to have been a decent ‘keeper. Certainly, his stats were solid – he averaged a save success rate of 78% at the age of just 22 [FB Ref].

Yet, we’re still to make the much-heralded goalie actually make a save. Early on, he looked quite uncertain behind an ever-changing defence.

Now as we approach the season’s end, he’s out of fitness and out of the team. Scott Bain has regained his place as Celtic’s number 1, and fans are frustrated by the goalkeeping situation in general.

Names like David Marshall have been discussed in the short-term, while prospects like Tim Rönning could represent future value for Celtic. Barkas, however, has a deal until 2024 and he won’t be keen to cede a place that should be his, long-term.

In terms of Greece, however, it’s another set-back for the goalkeeper, in what’s proven to be a disaster season.

READ MORE: Former Bhoy gambles with goodwill of supporters.