Everton: Asmir Begovic contract extension indicates trouble for £3 million man

Everton (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /

Jordan Pickford remains Everton’s unquestionable number one choice between the sticks. However, the role of a backup goalkeeper has been up for grabs from season to season. In the past few seasons, players such as Maarten Stekelenburg, Joao Virginia, Robin Olsen and Asmir Begovic have served as deputies to Everton keeper Pickford.

The Toffees brought in Olsen on a season long loan last season. While there were murmurs of Olsen staying permanently, no such deal was openly discussed between Everton and AS Roma. In the summer transfer window, Begovic was signed as a free agent after his deal ran out with AFC Bournemouth at the end of 2020-21 season.

Virginia was thought to be handed the backup role after he made his Premier League debut under Carlo Ancelotti when Pickford and Olsen both were spending time in the recuperation centre. However, the Toffees instead signed Begovic and in fact sanctioned a loan deal for the young Portuguese.

Virginia did show glimpses of his abilities in the 227 minutes he played for the senior side last season. The Benfica youth product showed promise and vigour but was lacking the experience needed to operate at such a high level. While still in his early twenties, there was a long learning curve ahead of him and loaning him out was a smart idea.

Asmir Begovic’s extension is bad news for Everton loanee Joao Virginia

Virginia joined Sporting on loan with the Portuguese giants having the liberty to make the move permanent for £3 million. Perhaps the idea was to prepare Virginia to become a stable option for Pickford in the future and if things go south, cash in on him. In the meantime, Begovic’s presence would insure Everton if needed.

Begovic has been called onto the scene six times throughout the season, making two appearances each in the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup. The veteran has kept two clean sheets and has made himself readily available whenever needed by remaining injury free throughout the season.

Begovic signed an initial one year deal with an option to extend his current contract by one more season if need be. As things appear, Everton have decided to activate the option of extending the Bosnian’s contract by one more year, as per Liverpool ECHO.

The 34 year old is set to stay at Goodison Park until the end of 2023 which outlines the plans that Everton have for their other goalkeeper, Virginia, who is on a loan assignment. Virginia’s chances of featuring for Everton in the future are diminishing with each passing day.

Should Virginia come back to Everton, the 22 year old will have to possibly remain the third choice keeper in the squad and playing time will be extremely hard to come by. Had Begovic’s contract not been extended, Virginia would have immediately secured the backup role.

His future remains up in the air. Sporting desire to take him permanently but does not want to pay the release clause. In fact, Virginia has struggled to get minutes under his belt at Sporting too, playing second fiddle to Antonio Adan.

Begovic’s extension has indicated that Virginia will not feature at Everton and will either be sold or will depart on another loan. In any case, at 22, Virginia wants to play and he may have to look away from Merseyside to achieve that.

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