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Everton: Joao Virginia set to finalise Sporting Lisbon move

Everton: Joao Virginia set to finalise Sporting Lisbon move -Everton News

Everton goalkeeper Joao Virginia is expected to fly to Portugal on Thursday to complete his move to Sporting Lisbon, according to Record (via Sport Witness).

The lowdown

The 21-year-old came through the youth system of another Portuguese giant in Benfica. He then spent two years at Arsenal before joining Everton in 2018.

He played 22 games for the Toffees’ under-23s, commendably keeping 11 clean sheets. Three senior appearances followed in 2020/21, most notably in the FA Cup quarter-finals against Manchester City (via Transfermarkt).

With Jordan Pickford out injured, Virginia kept the eventual Premier League champions and Champions League finalists at bay for 84 minutes before they claimed victory.

The latest

The report from Record (via Sport Witness) stated that Virginia is in isolation after a positive Covid test, but he will apparently be cleared to fly to the Iberian peninsula on Thursday if he tests negative.

Virginia will join the reigning Primeira Liga champions on a season-long loan, and Sporting will have the option to make it permanent at the end of the campaign. The deal will be completed as long as Luis Maximiano, the keeper whom Virginia is replacing, seals his move to La Liga outfit Granada.

The verdict

Now that Everton’s goalkeeping ranks for the new season have taken shape, how strong are they looking in that position?

Pickford has performed well enough in 2021 to quash any questions over his suitability for the number one spot at Goodison Park. However, summer signing Asmir Begovic is a somewhat unconvincing deputy, having struggled in his most recent top-flight season, conceding just under two goals per game with Bournemouth in 2018/19.

Virginia might have hoped to get the prime backup role after deputising impressively for Pickford last season, but Everton ultimately don’t rate him highly enough. Let’s hope they don’t come to regret letting the Portuguese youngster leave.

In other news, this player can apparently help Benitez put his ‘stamp’ on the team

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Article title: Everton: Joao Virginia set to finalise Sporting Lisbon move

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