Vasilis Barkas does not enjoy too much appreciation among the Celtic support. It is not that he makes mistakes, more that he has failed to take the numerous opportunities presented by a largely lax defence to convince us he has the talent to become a mainstay in the team for years to come. What’s for sure is that he cannot perform the miracles we were treated to last year by Fraser Forster.
At 26-years-old, Vasilis should be approaching his prime years, but instead of building on a solid reputation gained at AEK Athens, he has seen Scott Bain and Conor Hazard chosen ahead of him this season.
There will be many changes this summer and if the manager (?) wants to move Barkas on he will likely find a taker, but there are reasons I would persevere with him for the rest of the season. First of those is the development we saw in Fraser Forster under goalkeeping coach, Stevie Woods.
When Fraser first arrived at Celtic on loan a decade ago the jury was out on him, some of the support preferred Lukas Zaluska, whom he shared the gloves with for a period. Fraser was 18 months into his load period when a penalty save against Hearts brought wider recognition of his improvement over that period, however, he continued to improve well into his third season at Celtic. There are few keepers Stevie has not improved in his years at Celtic, given time, Barkas will also benefit, although let’s hope he does not have too many opportunities to demonstrate that against Hamilton tomorrow.