Everton’s 23-year-old hopes to get more chances this season after numerous loans

As Sporting prepares to face Everton in a friendly at Goodison Park, Portuguese newspaper O Jogo seized the opportunity to interview someone who knows both clubs inside out – João Virgínia, writes the SW. The talented goalkeeper has been with the Toffees since 2018 and had a loan spell with the Lions during the 2021/22 season.

During the interview, Virgínia not only discussed the upcoming match but also shed light on his relationship with Everton, especially after signing a contract extension with the club. He expressed his contentment with the decision to return to Everton following a loan spell at Dutch side SC Cambuur last season, as he felt optimistic about receiving more playing opportunities.

“The return was natural. I had one more year on my contract, and the club has been following my career very positively, allowing me to play on loan at other clubs to gain more experience. Returning to Everton, my renewal would be significant for them, and it was easy for us to reach an agreement,” Virgínia stated.

As Jordan Pickford’s backup, Virgínia expressed satisfaction with the opportunity to work alongside a top-quality goalkeeper like Pickford. “We are talking about the number one English. He has been performing exceptionally well in recent seasons. It’s good to work with such a high-caliber goalkeeper as he helps us to improve,” he said.

The promising goalkeeper believes that the club has shown signs of affording him more chances in the upcoming season. “Returning this season and with the contract extension, I was given indications that I would have more opportunities, serving as Pickford’s reserve. As the number two, I will always be one step away from joining the team, and I firmly believe that I can seize these opportunities. That’s what brought me back here,” he asserted.

Despite being at Everton for several years, Virgínia has had limited chances to showcase his abilities, making only three appearances during the 2020/21 season. However, his loan stints at Reading, Sporting, and Cambuur have provided valuable experiences, and he remains hopeful that the upcoming season will see him contribute more to the club.

As the young goalkeeper looks forward to continuing his journey with Everton, fans and management alike will be keeping a keen eye on his development and the potential for more appearances in the Premier League.