End of an Error as Vasilis Barkas heads to Holland as back-up at Utrecht

Vasilis Barkas has left Celtic on a season long loan to Dutch side Utrecht where he looks unlikely to be the first choice goalkeeper. Greek sports editor, who broke the story of the former AEK Athens keeper signing for Celtic for a record breaking transfer fee paid by Celtic for a goalkeeper in July 2020, confirmed the loan move this afternoon.

Reports at the weekend via Daily record suggested that Celtic were preparing to rip up Barkas’ contact, presumably paying him off in order to put the entire sorry affair behind us but that was quickly shot down with the link to Utrecht emerging.

Ange Postecoglou with Vasilis Barkas and Dane Murray of Celtic after the during the UEFA Champions League Second Qualifying Round First Leg between Celtic and FC Midtjylland at Celtic Park on July 20, 2021.(Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

That now has come to pass and Celtic will at least save on his salary which was among the highest at the club. Attempts to send the hapless keeper out on loan in the January window hit the rocks due to the wage structure so Celtic now reaching a deal with the Dutch side will certainly be welcomed by the support.

Let’s hope that Barkas can rediscover the form that convinced Peter Lawwell and Neil Lennon to shell out the guts of £4.5m for the goalkeeper after Fraser Forster had let them down. By that time, in a classic case of counting chickens, that pair had allowed the current Stand goalkeeper Craig Gordon to leave the club.

26th December 2021; McDiarmid Park, Perth, Scotland; Scottish Premier League football, St Johnstone versus Celtic; Vasilis Barkas of Celtic is beaten by Chris Kane of St Johnstone header as he makes it 2-1 in the 69th minute, pulling a goal back for St Johnstone

Barkas was perhaps a panic buy as the Celtic manager and CEO eyed a tenth successive title. But Barkas, like so many others in the Celtic squad, failed to show up and it could be argued that he’s the worst goalkeeper we’ve ever seen play for the club.

Anyway, let’s hope that flopping at Celtic was a one off and he can pick himself up and start making the occasional save for Utrecht. He can’t possibly be as bad a keeper as he looked. ‘Barkas?’ someone on our supporters bus said. ‘He couldnae save at Lidl.”

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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