Utrecht explain why they've signed Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas on loan

By David Walton

June 7, 2022

Utrecht sporting director Eric Oelschlagel has stated that the loan signing of Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas gives them an “absolute boost” heading into the new season.

The Hoops have finally managed to offload the Greek goalkeeper after 2 years of disappointment under both Neil Lennon and Ange Postecoglou. It remains to be seen if the loan deal has any option to buy within it.

It’s a move that will surely please the Celtic supporters who have been itching to see him depart for some time now. Barkas only made 2 appearances last term and found himself sitting as third choice behind Joe Hart and Scott Bain respectively.

Photo by Andrea Bruno Diodato/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

His stock has plummeted severely, leaving many wondering how we would find an interested party. Thankfully, we’ve found one in Utrecht, who have explained what motivated them to take the Greek stopper for the season.

Speaking via their official website, Oelschlagel said: “Due to the ongoing injury of Fabian de Keijzer and the departure of Eric Oelschlägel, we aimed to strengthen our goalkeepers’ guild. We are very pleased that this has been achieved with Vasilis Barkas.

“Vasilis is a big and athletic goalkeeper. He has good reflexes, rules in the air in the box, stands his ground in one-on-one duels and has charisma. Vasilis is also an experienced keeper, who has played at top clubs in Greece and Scotland and has played the necessary international matches with Greece. He gives our team an absolute boost.”

Vasilis Barkas desperately needs to reinvent himself with Utrecht

Some Celtic supporters may be looking at the Utrecht sporting director’s comments whilst keeping a chuckle in. After all, we barely saw any of those traits during his 2 years with us.

However, let’s not forget Barkas’ reputation before he arrived at Celtic. He was a former Greece number 1 and came with UCL and title-winning experience during his days with AEK Athens. He simply didn’t fit in well at Parkhead at all. That doesn’t mean he’s an overall incapable goalkeeper.

It will be absolutely fascinating to see how he performs in the Netherlands with Utrecht. Especially in a league as competitive and high in quality as the Eredivisie. It’s actually a fantastic opportunity that’s come Barkas’ way here.

Photo by Andrea Bruno Diodato/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Whether it sparks a revival for him at Celtic or perhaps a permanent move to Holland next summer, he needs this more than anyone.

Utrecht will have big hopes next season after finishing 7th this term. European football is bound to be their aim with Barkas coming up against the likes of Ajax, Feyenoord, and PSV Eindhoven in a big year for him.

All the best to the player for the season ahead. Hopefully, he gets his career straight back on track.

In other news, Report: Why 8 clubs decided to grant Celtic Lowland League access next season