Former Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon has told The Scottish Sun that he is backing Vasilis Barkas amid criticism for the Bhoys stopper.
Celtic allowed Gordon to walk away over the summer, as the veteran decided to leave Parkhead and return to former club Hearts.
With Fraser Forster’s loan from Southampton over, Celtic needed to find a new goalkeeper – and ended up going for Barkas.
The Greek stopper had international and European experience with AEK Athens, whilst he fit the bill as a goalkeeper with a huge frame to replace Forster at 6ft 5in tall.
Some criticised him for his part in Ferencvaros dumping Celtic out of the Champions League qualifiers, and more doubters are emerging after Saturday’s defeat to Rangers.
Barkas showed weak wrists as Connor Goldson’s header went through him and into the net for Rangers’ opener, though he stood little chance with Goldson’s second.
Now, Gordon has come out to defend Barkas, telling The Scottish Sun that he thinks it was always going to be tough for Barkas to adjust to life in Scotland immediately, and needs time to shine.
Gordon predicted that Barkas will ‘come good’ eventually, highlighting that it’s especially tough to come in when Celtic are going for a tenth league title in a row, with every mistake magnified.
“It was always going to be difficult for anyone to go into the team in a season of this magnitude, let alone a keeper coming to a new country,” said Gordon. “He needs to settle in and get used to his new surroundings, team-mates and coaching methods. It’s tough.”
“I’m sure he’ll come good with the attributes that he has and the places that he’s played. He’s got a number of international caps, so he’s got experience,” he added.