Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas may be offered route out of Parkhead to AEK Athens on loan, according to the Daily Record.
AEK haven’t managed to successfully replace Barkas, conceding barrel-loads of goals both domestically and in Europe. Barkas’ replacement, Panagiotis Tsintotas conceded 12 in just 5 Europa League outings this season [Transfermarkt]. It’s a situation that eerily mirrors our own, but with the names changed.
Joining the Celts for around £4.5 million last July [Transfermarkt], the Greece international Barkas has endured an extremely disappointing spell in Glasgow. Frozen out since January’s trip to the Tony Macaroni to play Livingston [Transfermarkt], he looks set to depart the Hoops as they rebuild for 2021/22.
Also being linked with PAOK in his homeland, he may need to take some sort of wage-cut as he still has three years on his lucrative deal at Celtic Park [BBC]. In 20 appearances for the Hoops this season, he has managed to keep 9 clean sheets [WhoScored].
Barkas has found himself second or even third choice at Celtic. Therefore, he may view a move as the best chance of getting his career back on track. At 6ft 5 inches, he initially seemed like towering presence between the sticks the Celts had previously had in Fraser Forster. However, this has unfortunately proved not to be the case.
Vasilis Barkas is a good goalkeeper: we haven’t seen anywhere near his best exploits at Celtic
Acquired with significant pedigree, Barkas looked the part when initially sought out to be Celtic number one. In 2019/20, he performed admirably for then third place Greek side AEK Athens. Participating in 33 encounters, the 26-year old managed to keep a remarkable 16 clean sheets [Transfermarkt].
Celtic looked to Barkas due to his propensity to rotate the ball comfortably in possession. His prowess in shot-stopping was also considerably impressive in Greece.
However, sometimes in football, certain faces don’t fit the environment they enter. Settling in a different country is difficult enough, so doing it during a pandemic couldn’t have been easy.
A loan move to his former employers may be the most agreeable situation for all considered parties. We may still see the best of Vasilis Barkas yet.