The arrival of Joe Hart immediately solved a number of problems for Celtic ahead of the 2021/22 season, subsequently pushing Vasilis Barkas away from the first-team picture. The former Premier League winner has gone on to play a key role in the Hoops’ Premiership triumph while his Greek teammate barely featured.
Uninspiring performances in the previous season, followed by a fall down the pecking order in the latest campaign, made it clear that Barkas did not have a long-term future at Parkhead.
It is believed that they had tried to find him a new club in January itself but a move did not materialise. They have succeeded in sending the Greek international out on loan this summer though.
FC Utrecht have completed a season-long loan move for Barkas, who will spend the 2022/23 campaign with the Dutch club.
FC Utrecht technical director explains why the club signed the struggling Celtic player
FC Utrecht technical director, Jordy Zuidam, said on the Dutch club’s official website about the signing of Barkas:
“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 under the bar at top clubs in Greece and Scotland and has played the necessary international matches with Greece. He gives our team an absolute boost.”
During his time at AEK Athens, Barkas was very highly rated. He joined Celtic in the summer of 2020 for a transfer fee believed to be £4.5 million and was expected to be the next long-term goalkeeper for the Hoops. It is safe to say that things have not quite turned out as expected.
He arrived at Parkhead with loads of potential but has not been able to even hold down his place in the first-team. In fact, he was no longer even the second choice goalkeeper at Celtic last season, with Scott Bain playing as the back-up to Hart. One could argue that even Tobi Oluwayemi was ahead of him in terms of importance to the squad.
It will be interesting to see whether he can turn his fortunes around in the Netherlands, during his loan spell with FC Utrecht.
This article was originally posted here