Everton starlet admits he may need to leave the club to achieve his ambitions

Joao Virginia has hinted at a potential move away from Goodison Park in the summer as he searches for a starting role.

Everton FC v West Ham United - Premier League
Everton FC v West Ham United - Premier League / James Gill/GettyImages

Joao Virginia signed a new deal this past summer which will keep him at Everton until June 2025, but the 25 year-old has admitted that he may need to leave the club before then if he is to achieve his career ambitions.

The Portuguese goalkeeper has impressed during his limited appearances this season, deputising for Jordan Pickford in Everton’s FA Cup ties against Cystal Palace and Luton before the Blues were knocked out of the competition in the fourth round.

Speaking to SAPO in Portugal (via Sport Witness), Virginia spoke about his current position in Everton’s squad:

“This year they decided they wanted me to stay at the club. Staying, I already knew that, having England’s number 1 goalkeeper in the squad, I would be playing in the cups and waiting for something to happen, but the season is going well, in a way it is going as planned.”

Since joining the Toffees in 2018, Virginia has had a number of loan spells around Europe, but has admitted that his next goal is to become a first choice goalkeeper at a club, which may mean leaving Goodison Park at the end of the season. He said:

“I feel like I’m getting better every year, a better goalkeeper. I have been through different contexts, different leagues, different countries.

“I’ve already played in four different leagues, so I’m improving and, from now on, my goal is to play more and more and become a starting goalkeeper at a big club.

“For now, it’s just a matter of waiting and seeing what happens until the end of the season, I’m always prepared to go in and do my best for Everton.”

Despite his accomplished performances in the FA Cup this season, Joao Virginia is unlikely to displace Jordan Pickford as Everton’s number one anytime soon.

At 25 years old, Virginia is now coming into his prime years as a goalkeeper and it might be a wise move for both parties for him to move on in the summer, in order for him to further his career and for Everton to cash in on him before his contract expires at the end of next season.