Vasilis Barkas speaks out after leaving Celtic for Utrecht

By David Walton

June 8, 2022

Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas has stated that he’s “really excited” to get going with Utrecht after linking up the Dutch side for a season-long loan.

Barkas has had 2 years of frustration at Celtic Park after failing to nail down the number 1 spot in Glasgow. The Greek international made 24 appearances for the club with only 2 coming last year under Ange Postecoglou [Transfermarkt].

Celtic splashed out £4.5m to bring the former AEK Athens man to Parkhead in the summer of 2020 [Scottish Sun]. However, with his contract now into its final 2 years, there’s a strong desire from supporters to get him off the wage bill.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The Hoops support hasn’t heard much from Barkas in recent times, but he took part in an interview for Utrecht’s official club channels after signing as he said the following:

“It’s really amazing. It’s a great honour for me to be at a great club with nice, crazy fans, and in a really good league. So I feel excited and I can’t wait to start training with my new team. I want to get myself to work and help the team try to go as far as we can, to get European football again where we have to be. And of course play nice football.

“I like to play football, I like to play outside. I’m not the kind of goalkeeper who will stay on my line. So yes I would like to play outside.

“My mother is from here so I’m really happy that I came back. The last time I was here to visit Holland was 18 years ago, so it’s been a long time. So I can’t wait to meet some people here and see the Dutch philosophy. I’m really excited.”

Vasilis Barkas sounds absolutely buzzing after leaving Celtic for Utrecht

It’s difficult to remember Barkas ever looking as excited as he does in the video above. Evidently, he’s been on the hunt for a new challenge and is looking forward to trying to re-establish himself in the Netherlands.

It’s certainly an incredible opportunity for him. He’s joining a team in a highly-reputable European league that is pushing for a return to Europe next season. If he manages to help them achieve that, you would like to think talks over a permanent move would arise.

Should Barkas shine in Holland, it will do wonders for his career. It would no doubt have bigger clubs in the country taking a look at him too. It could be the case that we have plenty of interest in the player this time next year should he manage to reinvent himself.

Photo by Andrea Bruno Diodato/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

But we’re still a long way from that at the moment. Barkas just never looked comfortable at Celtic Park. Whether it be positionally, aerially, or just his lack of shot-stopping ability – he just couldn’t get a run of form going here.

Sometimes a change of scenery and manager can do wonders for certain individuals. Barkas will be hoping that this move sparks an unlikely revival, and Celtic could certainly do with it.

Best of luck to him for the season ahead. This simply needs to be a big one.

In other news, Report: Celtic eyeing up no-risk move for former Swiss under-21 international