When Joao Virginia joined Reading on a season-long from Everton in the summer it was mentioned that he had outgrown under-23s football.
The chance to play first-team games at the Madejski Stadium was a big pull and the Portuguese goalkeeper was hopeful of proving his worth.
David Unsworth, head coach of the Everton under-23s, used him frequently last season as his team won the Premier League 2 title.
Things haven’t started well out on loan, however. Just three games into his stint, there are already doubts over his ability to play in the Championship.
In two league games he has shipped five goals and last night his limp wrists contributed to a soft Wolves goal, subsequently costing the Royals a place in the last 16 of the cup.
Actions speak louder than words
It would appear that Virginia could talk the talk, but walking the walk is proving problematic at the moment.
Upon signing for Reading, he told the Liverpool Echo: “If you see me play you won’t recognise my age. When you see the quality and the work I put into my game, that’s all that matters.
“I want to improve as a keeper and confirm my place as a senior player. In my position you need to be confident, to be worthy of the trust of your team-mates. I’m up for the challenge.”
Due to his erratic form Virginia has already lost his place in the team to Brazilian custodian Rafael.
Heading out on loan and not playing was clearly not in Virginia’s thoughts and with every game sat on the bench a chance with Everton slips further and further away.
His confidence seems low right now and last night’s error won’t have helped.
Despite his Reading career being in its infancy, he already looks like playing second fiddle for the majority of the current campaign.
Everton have two decent goalkeepers already in Jordan Pickford and Jonas Lossl. After Virginia’s latest high-profile error, his chance of competing for a place at Goodison Park looks further away than ever.