Everton goalkeeper Joao Virginia is closing in on a loan move to Reading, but is that a good move for the teenager?
The 19-year old joined Everton from Arsenal last summer, with many fans of the Gunners questioning the London club’s decision to let him go at the time.
A Portugal youth international, Virginia is highly regarded, and his burgeoning reputation led some Everton fans to call for him to become Jordan Pickford’s deputy to this season, preferring him to Maarten Stekelenburg before Jonas Lossl signed on.
However according to getreading, Virginia is closing in on his first loan spell away from Goodison Park, with the starlet tipped to become Royals boss and compatriot Jose Gomes’ first signing of the summer.
There is even a small chance that Virginia could play for the club against Southend United in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Saturday.
In my opinion this wouldn’t just be a good move for Virginia, it would also be a wise business decision for Everton.
Virginia isn’t likely to feature for the first-team next season with Pickford, Stekelenburg and Lossl all ahead of the teenager in the pecking order, meaning the Portuguese shot-stopper would be restricted to youth football if he remains on Merseyside.
If we are to see Virginia’s potential realised, he needs to be getting minutes under his belt as a senior level, and stepping down to the Championship is the perfect way to do so.
Currently Sam Walker is Reading’s only other senior goalkeeper, and while Walker has plenty of League Two experience, he has only managed half of a dozen appearances in the Championship, meaning Virginia could challenge him for a starting berth.
Provided Virginia receives game time for the Royals, I think a loan spell at the Madejski Stadium would be great business all round.
Which other young Everton players could leave on loan?
The 22-year midfielder is out of contract next summer, and with Everton having received a number of offers this month from unnamed Bundesliga and Championship sides, Williams’ future is unclear.
However Marco Silva is believed to be a big fan of the former Bolton loanee, and if he is offered a new deal, we could expect another loan spell with his path to the first-team currently blocked.
Baningime is another midfielder who has a stellar reputation on Merseyside, but he hasn’t forced himself into Marco Silva’s immediate plans just yet.
At just 20-years old, the defensive enforcer would benefit from another loan spell, especially after being frozen out last season with Wigan. Beni needs minutes, and a loan spell would likely do that.
Robinson is possibly the closest to finding himself a place in Everton’s first-team, with his stock still growing as he earns more and more international caps for the United States.
However, with Leighton Baines having penned a contract extension, he is down the pecking order and a loan spell would do him good once more, where he would hopefully then return next summer ready to feature for the Toffees.
Dowell is another who is still held in high regard on Merseyside, however he hasn’t been able to break through just yet.
After another successful loan spell with Sheffield United last season, Dowell would benefit from a Premier League loan spell this season, preferably with the Blades once again.