VASILIS BARKAS must be allowed to make his own history at Celtic, insists Neil Lennon.
The £4.5million keeper from AEK Athens will be in sharp focus as he prepares to take over from Fraser Forster as the last line of defence while the champions gear up for their tilt at a historic ten titles on the trot.
The 26-year-old Greek international shotstopper will be scrutinised as he replaces the fans’ favourite who decided to remain at Southampton following last season’s impressive loan campaign at the club.
However, boss Lennon has urged the supporters not to rate the new Bhoy alongside Forster who made certain the No.1 position was in safe and secure gloves during another successful term for the title kings.
The Irishman, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Vasilis is a goalkeeper the club have liked for quite a while. Going back to when we played AEK in the Champions League qualifiers a few years ago, keeper coach Stevie Woods has kept his eye on him.
“He’s progressed very well, he is a good size, really composed and a good shotstopper. He is really good coming for crosses, which is important.
“We are not going to compare him with Fraser – Fraser has been and gone and made a huge contribution – but we’re hoping Barkas will come in and do similar.
“He’s a good age and I hope we see him having the same impact as he goes on as some of the other keepers have done over the years.”
Barkas is eager to hit the ground running in the east end of Glasgow and could make a quickfire debut against Hamilton Accies in the Premiership opener tomorrow afternoon.
However, the manager could play Scott Bain at the start of the contest and, with five substitutes now allowed in the league, he could ease Barkas into the action at some stage in proceedings.