The young Portuguese was picked up by Everton from Arsenal's Under-23s side last year and was tipped at one stage recently to be Jordan Pickford's understudy in the Blues' first-team this coming season.
Everton's acquisition of Jonas Lössl on a free transfer this summer was indication, however, that Marco Silva feels he needs more experience which is looks set to get with a temporary switch to the Royals.
Reader Comments (18)
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1 Posted 06/07/2019 at 20:53:07
Every decade has one, a young sub goalie that spends five or six years hanging about on loan elsewhere before eventually signing for someone else at the age of 27/28.
2 Posted 06/07/2019 at 21:29:07
3 Posted 06/07/2019 at 21:39:07
I agree with Steve Ferns, 19 is a young age for a goalkeeper to go out on loan, but perhaps Virginia is a mature lad for his age and is ready to show how good he is already.
4 Posted 06/07/2019 at 21:41:42
5 Posted 06/07/2019 at 22:24:25
Great move for the lad, really hope he gets to play, imo will be a very useful learning curve.
Also 9 clean sheets in 11 U23s games last season, a real prospect.
6 Posted 06/07/2019 at 22:59:56
I trust Silva/Brands judgement on this. I'm all for it.
7 Posted 07/07/2019 at 00:19:49
Also Mike, this is a temporary situation, Im not saying never loan him out, I'm saying not for the next two seasons. If he develops as he should he might get a game or two by the end of that period. If he hasnt progressed enough for that, yes, then loan him out.
As regards Lossl, Id never have signed him. Once we did, it was obvious someone was leaving.
8 Posted 07/07/2019 at 01:44:47
19 isn't the same for everybody. Silva clearly believes the kid is mature enough to handle a loan, and is far enough along in his development to require regular games NOW, not in two years. Your thought that he's going to "learn" in training how to handle himself in a top-level game just makes no sense to me. He's not going up for crosses in a slam-bang penalty area in training. He's not distributing under pressure or dealing with hostile crowds of 30,000 in training.
You don't pick that up by being "in and around the first team" -- there's no process of osmosis from working out with Stek or watching Pickford play. At some point he needs to play goalkeeper every week against senior-side professionals, not teenagers. Silva, who knows the kid best, believes that point is now.
The odd thing is that while you'll recall I was more than a bit skeptical of Silva's hiring in the face of your considerable enthusiasm, on this issue I have more faith in his judgement than you do.
9 Posted 07/07/2019 at 03:57:12
10 Posted 07/07/2019 at 06:04:19
11 Posted 07/07/2019 at 07:07:52
To answer your question, Reading's only remaining keeper from last season is third-stringer Sam Walker, a 28-year-old lower-league lifer who spent most of his career at Colchester.
The #1 keeper was on loan from Arsenal and went back, and the #2 was released and signed with Bristol Rovers. No other keepers currently on the first team roster.
So unless Reading sign another veteran keeper or somebody jumps up from their U23s, it seems like Virginia will have a clear shot at the starting job.
12 Posted 07/07/2019 at 07:19:56
At 18 he was on loan at Doncaster
At 19 he was on loan at Burton Albion and Alfreton Town
At 20 he was on loan at Carlisle and Bradford
At 21 he was on loan at Preston.
Id say Reading are a step up on all of them if he can get the regular football there.
13 Posted 07/07/2019 at 07:30:37
Amusingly,I wonder if Arsenal recalled their keeper on loan as there was a place vacated by one of their younger keepers leaving last season.
14 Posted 07/07/2019 at 08:36:59
15 Posted 07/07/2019 at 11:41:25
Hopefully he will be able to get a good few meaningful first team games under his belt. Much better than just hanging round the U23s and training with the first team.
If all works out it should help him develop much quicker and then he can return as Pickfords understudy next year.
Good luck to him.
16 Posted 07/07/2019 at 11:54:25
17 Posted 08/07/2019 at 00:32:06
Joao Virginia has always been highly rated; he was when he was at Arsenal, and it was something of a coup for us to get him. I'd be fairly confident that Silva et al know that if they develop him right then he will be one of the best goalkeepers in the game - and they must think he's ready to play regularly in the Championship.
18 Posted 08/07/2019 at 03:40:10
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