João Virginia yet to appear on loan for Sporting Lisbon

Tuesday, 5 October, 2021 8comments  |  Jump to last
Two months into the new season, and an opportunity for João Virginia to make an impression on loan with Sporting Lisbon in his home country... but he has not yet played any senior matches so far in the 2021-22 season.

In fact, his last senior appearance was on 20 March 2021, when Everton lost to Manchester City 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. He is behind Antonio Adan, who shows no sign of relinquishing his place as first-choice goalkeeper.

He is expected to make his first appearance for Sporting against Belenenses in the Portuguese Cup a week on Friday, almost 2 months after arriving on loan from Everton. The plan was that he would get more playing time, after his place on the bench as Jordan Pickford's understudy had been usurped by Asmir Begovic, with Andy Lonergan a not-so-distant third choice, more often than not named as an additional substitute.

Virgínia should have the chance in the near future to start convincing Sporting Lisbon that they should be triggering the buy-out option which is part of their loan agreement; they can make his move permanent by paying Everton just €3.5M.

The goalkeeper arrived at Finch Farm to great fanfare as an 18-year old stolen from Arsenal for an undisclosed fee but just 2 senior starts and 1 sub appearance (all under Carlo Ancelotti) in 3 years with The Blues has shown that his journey to becoming a first-team professional still has a long way to go.  

Reader Comments (8)

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Bobby Mallon
1 Posted 05/10/2021 at 16:19:34
I would definitely have kept him and gotten rid of Lonergan.

I think he's a good keeper.

Justin Doone
2 Posted 05/10/2021 at 18:33:22
There are enough good experienced goalkeepers out there that teams shouldn't need to spend millions taking risks on untested youngsters.

A tough world to break through in but, having witnessed Everton waste millions on recruiting young keepers, I think we should avoid the trap.

The best we have had in recent years are those who had already proven themselves in the Premier League: Tim Howard and Nigel Martyn.

Alan J Thompson
3 Posted 07/10/2021 at 05:30:33
I do have to wonder why we sign these players if the only way to improve them is to send them to other clubs, or is it a matter of home sickness for the three signings out on loan?
Shane Corcoran
4 Posted 07/10/2021 at 07:45:28
Didn’t know there was a clause to buy but it’s the only thing that made sense.

He was unlikely to make the first team there.

Derek Taylor
5 Posted 07/10/2021 at 09:21:01
He can blame his agent for persuading him to leave Arsenal although there was bound to be a healthy commission involved.

The lad's career has gone backwards since coming north, we are not a club famous for bringing on young keepers – we seem to have had dozens of them who have just faded into obscurity.

Robert Tressell
6 Posted 07/10/2021 at 09:56:06
Virginia seems quite a talented keeper who was worth taking a very low cost punt on.

Sporting have just sold Maximiano (one year older than Virginia) to Granada and are presumably looking at Virginia as the replacement. That's quite flattering for Virginia.

It's still early in the season and he may yet oust the much more experienced Adan at some point, which would be an achievement. There's plenty of time for him yet and he's still on course to have a good career.

Although we haven't unearthed the new Southall from the handful of teenage keepers we've brought in, it's worth the modest outlay to keep bringing in talented teenagers - even if some end up being sold on rather than taking a place in the squad.

David Pearl
7 Posted 13/10/2021 at 09:16:59
I thought he played well against Man City and was deserving of the Number 2 spot. Can't see how Begovic is an upgrade. I'd have kept him as we will no doubt need another understudy to Pickford in a year or two. Made no sense to me, especially if all he's doing is sitting on a sunnier bench.
Andy Kay
8 Posted 17/10/2021 at 23:31:44
He should still be our No 2 if our Brands Policy of bringing in young players is adherd to. Many young players have to sink or swim to be Premier League standard. Back-up keeper should be a younger future star – not an experienced 35-year-old. How else are they going to learn their trade?

Even big Nev had to wait behind Jim Arnold and then fought to keep his place in 1983. If Virginia isn't good enough to push Pickford, we need to sign the next bright thing to take over from him. It's the same with the outfield players. How we still don't have a young right-back pushing Seamus out of the team by now is beyond me.

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