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Virginia set for Reading loan

| Saturday, 06 July 2019 18comments  |  Jump to last
Joao Virginia is on the verge of sealing a season-long loan at Championship side Reading according to reports.

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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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 06/07/2019 at 20:53:07
Most likely the present day Steve Simonsen, Jason Kearton ect

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.

Steve Ferns
2 Posted 06/07/2019 at 21:29:07
I think 19 is too young for a keeper to be on loan. He needs time to develop and being in and around Pickford and Stekelenburg (World Cup finalist don’t forget) will teach him more than games in the championship. Sure, if at 21 he’s not overtaking Pickford then get him on loan, but no, not the next two seasons.
Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 06/07/2019 at 21:39:07
The manager of Reading FC is José Manuel Gomes, a former Portuguese international. Virginia is Portuguese so maybe he has been sent specifically and Silva and Brands know he will be in good hands and even get a decent amount of games in their first team.

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.

Terry White
4 Posted 06/07/2019 at 21:41:42
Steve (#2), would you have Virginia stick around when we have Pickford, Stekelenburg AND Lössl at the club. How many games is he going to get?
Si Smith
5 Posted 06/07/2019 at 22:24:25
I can't see the issue here, Virginia on loan at a top Championship side under a manager from his native country.

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.

Mike Gaynes
6 Posted 06/07/2019 at 22:59:56
Steve #2, I could have written your post for you, mate. Knew what your reaction would be. We will always disagree on this one. Can't imagine how you see a player developing by just practicing and collecting advice but never seeing the pitch.

I trust Silva/Brands judgement on this. I'm all for it.

Steve Ferns
7 Posted 07/07/2019 at 00:19:49
Mike, he’s a kid. He’s not 21. He should be in and around the first team. Training with them day in, day out. He does most of the keeping in training. That is, Pickford can’t be throwing himself around for shooting practice, he can’t risk injury. So it’s the young lad who does the bulk of that. He’s learning by all the training he’s doing, trying to save from internationals. He drops to the championship and he’s against lower quality players.

Also Mike, this is a temporary situation, I’m 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 hasn’t progressed enough for that, yes, then loan him out.

As regards Lossl, I’d never have signed him. Once we did, it was obvious someone was leaving.

Mike Gaynes
8 Posted 07/07/2019 at 01:44:47
Yep, Steve, I know, that's exactly what you've said before, when we debated this at the time of Lossl's signing. And I simply disagree with every point.

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.

Anthony Murphy
9 Posted 07/07/2019 at 03:57:12
Do we know whether he’ll be first choice at Reading?
Alan J Thompson
10 Posted 07/07/2019 at 06:04:19
Anthony(#9); I was thinking the same thing. If, as someone above stated, Reading are a "top" Championship side then who has been playing in goal for them and why won't he be there this season. I find it worrying that lower division clubs are seen as being able to improve these kids while Everton offer only a place in the U-23s which is deemed less than good enough, and this for a player who has only been with us for a year.
Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 07/07/2019 at 07:07:52
Anthony #9 and Alan J #10...

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.

Kevin Prytherch
12 Posted 07/07/2019 at 07:19:56
Use our own Jordan Pickford as an example...

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.

I’d say Reading are a step up on all of them if he can get the regular football there.

Alan J Thompson
13 Posted 07/07/2019 at 07:30:37
Mike(#11); Thanks for that and given Reading's Portuguese manager has some relationship to Mr Silva there seems to be a very good chance of Virginia being first choice. On the other hand, could we have persuaded them to have taken Stekelenburg full time on a similar basis as I suggested with Garbutt to Oxford, rather than a youngster who has been with us for only the one year?

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.

John Hammond
14 Posted 07/07/2019 at 08:36:59
A step up for the lad, good luck to him.
John Graham
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 Pickford’s understudy next year.

Good luck to him.

David Pearl
16 Posted 07/07/2019 at 11:54:25
Brilliant loan move if it happens. Must have high hopes if at his age he's given a chance at first team football at a championship club. If it goes well I'd make it two years, not one.
Andrew Keatley
17 Posted 08/07/2019 at 00:32:06
I agree with Mike Gaynes (8). Some players are better kept in and around the club and in youth football, others are more suited to getting games under their belt early - and it's the job of the management team to make those decisions.

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.

David Ellis
18 Posted 08/07/2019 at 03:40:10
I rarely disagree with Steve Ferns - but on this one I do. There is a world of difference between saving goals in practice and doing it when there are points and peoples livlihoods on the line and passionate fans watching. The loan will do him good. The Championship is the highest level we could expect for him at this stage and if the manager is Portugese its all got to help.

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