Saturday, December 3, 2022

Celtic Outcast Impressing On Loan In Eredivisie: Boost For The Hoops?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Celtic have been shrewd under Ange Postecoglou in terms of transfer business. However, they made some dreadful signings in the recent past and the Aussie boss sanctioned loan deals after failing to offload them on permanent terms. Having said that, some of their fringe stars have impressed so far, including Vasilis Barkas (currently on loan at FC Utrecht) who has now emerged as a transfer target for several outfits as claimed by renowned Greek journalist Giannis Chorianopoulos.

Barkas was a high-profile signing from AEK Athens to succeed Fraser Forster and Craig Gordon between the sticks. The Greek custodian cost them £4.5m a couple of summers ago, but he failed miserably to live up to expectations during Neil Lennon’s tenure. An array of erroneous outings led to strong criticism which eventually saw him losing his starting status to Scott Bain in the Celtic goal.

Ange Postecoglou

Good News For Celtic?

While he slipped down the pecking order following Joe Hart’s arrival, Eredivisie side Utrecht came to the rescue by offering him a lifeline to resurrect his career. The 28-year-old Greece international has played all their games so far this term and kept 5 cleansheets in 14 outings across competitions. They are now seventh in the league standings and the Dutch outfit are assessing the possibility of making Barkas’ move permanent beyond the season-long loan.

Meanwhile, the shot-stopper would enter the final year of his Hoops contract in the summer of 2023. His impressive run of form is a welcome boost for the champions of Scotland as they hope to recoup some chunk rather than lose him for nothing in a couple of years. The growing interest from various other teams might result in a bidding war upon the completion of the current campaign.

Celtic roped in Benjamin Siegrist on a Bosman from Dundee United back in the summer window. The Swiss keeper has appeared in a couple of League Cup games and is waiting patiently for his opportunities. Scott Bain is the third choice behind Hart and Siegrist whereas Conor Hazard, currently on loan at HJK, is also ahead of Barkas among the current goalkeeping options at Celtic Park.

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