Joao Virginia is reportedly set to become Reading’s first summer signing with the 19-year-old heading to the club on loan. According to GetReading, he might even feature in Saturday’s pre-season opener with Southend United. That game will take place behind closed doors.
Yet to make a senior appearance in the game, Virginia was Everton under-23’s goalkeeper last season and has also appeared in the EFL Trophy. Before his spell with the Toffees, he was on Arsenal and Benfica’s books.
So far this summer, Reading have bid farewell to Anssi Jaakkola - now of Bristol Rovers, George Legg and Lewis Ward, with Luke Southwood also reportedly transfer listed. That has left Sam Walker as the only senior goalkeeper after Emiliano Martinez returned to Arsenal.
Whether Virginia is considered ready for a run in the Championship is up for debate, but the club need reinforcements - preferably for as little money as possible. And Reading fans will have to deal with the likelihood that next season’s number one will be a considerable downgrade on Emiliano Martinez.