Reading finally have a new signing: Joao Virginia. The young Portuguese ‘keeper has joined on a season-long loan from Premier League side Everton, giving Jose Gomes a much-needed extra option in goal.
Still only 19, this is set to be the season when Virginia steps up into senior football. Until this point in his career, he’s only played academy football - first at Benfica, then Arsenal, and most recently for parent club Everton.
Nonetheless, he’s a very highly rated prospect. Toffees boss Marco Silva stated in May 2019 that Virginia is “at another level” to youth football, and that the next step was to decide whether or not the goalie should be loaned out to get regular first-team minutes. Luckily for us, that’s what they’ve decided to do.
Jose Gomes was delighted by the arrival of compatriot Virginia. He told the club’s official website:
“João is a gifted young goalkeeper who grew up learning his trade at one of the greatest clubs in Portugal and has since impressed in English football as part of Arsenal and Everton’s Under-23s. I am delighted that he will now get an opportunity to fight for first team football as a Royal.”
It’s now up to Virginia to impress in pre-season and challenge for the number one jersey. We wish him the very best of luck in his time at Reading. Welcome, Joao!