Bernard and Everton stars react as 21-year-old confirms loan exit on Instagram
Joao Virginia has confirmed that he has left Everton on loan to join Sporting Lisbon for the 2021-22 season. Bernard and Everton players have reacted.
Virginia, 21, joined Everton in the summer of 2018 from Arsenal – having only joined the Gunners in 2015 from Benfica’s academy.
A Portugal Under-21 international, Virginia has only played three games for Everton at senior level. He has 11 clean sheets in 22 Under-23 appearances.
With three years remaining on his Everton contract, Virginia has opted to leave and return to his home country. He joins Sporting on loan for 21-22.
A report from the Liverpool Echo says a permanent deal could be included. Posting on Instagram, Virginia has left the door open to an Everton return.
Virginia leaves Everton: Bernard and other players react
It is a move that needed to happen for Virginia. Rafa Benitez has brought Asmir Begovic to the club as back-up to Jordan Pickford between the sticks.
At this stage in his career, Virginia needs to break into first-team football and a move to Sporting seems as though game time is more of a possibility.
Staying at Everton would have seen him be a regular at Under-23 level, but there was almost zero chance of game time. He might not start at Sporting.
But if he is second choice, he might get 10 appearances and earn himself a permanent deal in his home country. A future no.1 for Sporting.
Bernard, who has also left Everton this summer for Sharjah FC, sent a touching response to Virginia. Lucas Digne also reacted.
Bernard says: “That’s that brother. God bless you and always do your best, never forget that. Miss you.”
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