Vasilis Barkas arrived at Celtic Park with a huge price tag around his neck.

The Greek international cost the Hoops a pretty penny but has failed miserably so far in justifying anywhere near the £5million the club spent.

For other clubs around the UK, a measly £5million is just a drop in the ocean. Cash that could be spent on a benchwarmer or a young, promising kid from the lower leagues. Celtic have never had that luxury, however, and Barkas was one of the big-money summer buys the club desperately needed to come good as they hunted 10 in a row.

It certainly has not worked out that way and former Hoops goalkeeper Roy Baines reckons his old employers should chalk it up to a bad investment and get rid now. Barkas, Baines says, is nowhere near good enough and it is clear to see. Having failed to make a save of note in the whole of 2021 so far, the custodian does not stack up to the top quality goalies Celtic and Scottish football in general have seen in the past.

"You can't print that," Baines told Herald and Times Sport when asked for his opinion. "Listen, he has come in with a great reputation as a Greek international but he's just not done it. He's not good enough. I'm actually surprised Stevie Woods (Celtic's goalkeeping coach) has not made him into a better goalkeeper. But the guy is not good enough.

"When you look round at Rangers, for example, they've always had Andy Goram, Allan McGregor, they've always had great keepers. It's the same with Celtic with Packie Bonner, Rab Douglas, Fraser Forster and Craig Gordon. Celtic have always had a great goalie and they've now not got one. For me Craig was the one to keep but they've paid £5million for a goalkeeper instead of giving him a good new deal.

"For me Craig was the main man even at 38 or so. Look at McGregor at Rangers. They all want to play on and can at that level but for me Barkas is not good enough. I don't think he knows what it means to play for Celtic, those days seem to be drifting away. There are a few Rangers boys who seem to know what it means to play for the club. But some guys just come and go.

"I know it's difficult when you come from Greece but he's bloody lucky there's no crowds there. They would've eaten him alive, they wouldn't accept it. And he's had a few chances already."

Baines went on: "I think you cut your losses, he's not good enough. People make mistakes but you move on. Get someone in who is good enough. With respect to him, I would sell him, cut the losses, he's had his chances. I mean, I didn't play many games for Celtic but if I'd played like him I wouldn't have played at all.

"People like Gordon and Forster were steady Eddies. And when you pay £5million you've got to be ready. Someone has to hold their hands up whether it's Lennon or recruitment. Paying that money and he's not good enough, someone has done something wrong somewhere."

Conor Hazard and Scott Bain have both taken turns deputising for Celtic's supposed number one this season but Baines believes the former is too raw to be a contender for the starting berth right now. He did, however, pinpoint one goalkeeper playing in the Scottish Premiership in front of their nose who could be the next perfect signing.

"Conor Hazard has done alright," Baines said. "He's still raw, but there's got to be a goalkeeper elsewhere in Scotland they could get in. Joe Lewis, for example, at Aberdeen. He's a good goalkeeper and a good lad, he's done the business for a long while."

Celtic are adrift of Rangers in the title race by a staggering 23 points after yet another defeat yesterday at home to St Mirren. But while Baines has been gutted to see his former side fall so far, he still believes Neil Lennon is a top boss.

"I've watched Celtic a lot this season and it's been terrible all round, hasn't it," he said. "I thought with the 10 in a row they had a good chance of doing it no problem. But Mr (Steven) Gerrard has made all the difference.

"It's a shame I think Neil Lennon is a fabulous manager. I feel for him because I do think he's a great manager."