Everton loanee struggling for minutes, report suggests he could return to Everton

Everton (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Everton loaned Joao Virginia to Sporting last summer. The Portuguese keeper showed promising signs in the 2020-21 season when he deputized for an injured Jordan Pickford in a couple of games. Virginia was Everton’s third choice keeper but his impressive outings showed that he was ready for the next step, which was to acquire more games under his belt by leaving on loan.

Sporting secured the 22 year old’s services with an option to make the move permanent in 2022 summer for £3 million. Initially, it was thought that Virginia would end up staying in Lisbon beyond this season but things haven’t been all rosy for the Portuguese youngster.

The player has played second fiddle to Antonio Adan which has restricted him to making just 7 appearances, six of which have come in domestic up competitions. Virginia is yet to play in the Primeira Liga and by the looks of it; he may not play a single league game and could return to Everton.

A couple of days ago, reports circulated online where Virginia told that he was happy to leave Everton and return to Portugal.

Joao Virginia could return to Everton

"The Premier weighed in to go to England. On the other side [Benfica] there were a lot of goalkeepers, I thought it wasn’t well organised, I wasn’t happy, I had the opportunity and I went. But I was very happy to return to Portugal. I was tired of the rain… that sometimes even causes depression. (via O Jogo)"

However, as the latest reports suggest, he could be on his way back to Everton in the summer. According to Record (via Sport Witness), Virginia could return to the Toffees in the summer in search of more playing time. At 22, playing regular football should be of paramount importance to Virginia and a few sporadic appearances throughout the season will not suffice his hunger.

However, he might not even find regular minutes come by easily at Everton too. Jordan Pickford remains the first choice keeper. Asmir Begovic has been acting as a backup and Andy Lonergan as the third choice.

Even though Begovic and Lonergan’s contract expires at the end of the season and if they are released, Virginia will still not be able to challenge Pickford. At best, Virginia will only play the domestic cup games.

The best solution for Virginia is to return to Everton and leave on loan to a Championship club or a Premier League club where he can be a regular starter between the sticks.

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