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‘Fantastic’: 21-year-old Everton prospect earns praise from rival coach

(Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Everton

‘Fantastic’: 21-year-old Everton prospect earns praise from rival coach

Everton U23s goalkeeper Joao Virginia has been praised by opposition boss Wayne Burnett following his impressive Premier League 2 display for the Toffees yesterday.

The 21-year-old has slipped down to fourth in the Everton goalkeepers’ pecking order following the deadline day loan signing of Robin Olsen.

Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti now has Jordan Pickford, Jonas Lossl, Olsen and Virginia at his disposal, meaning even more reduced game time for the Portuguese youngster.

Everton v Salford City - Carabao Cup Second Round

(Photo by Jon Super – Pool/Getty Images)

According to the Liverpool Echo, Everton first-team goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly asked David Unsworth to start Virginia in the goalless draw against Tottenham U23s on Monday.

The 6ft 3in stopper made several impressive saves, including a point-blank stop from an unmarked opposition header, to help the Toffees U23s pick up a point.

 

“I thought we played well and had some really good spells in the game,” Spurs U23s coach Burnett told their website at full time.

“Certainly in the first half, we had some really good chances, and their goalkeeper produced two fantastic saves, one from Brooklyn (Lyons-Foster), one from Elliot (Thorpe).”

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Joao Virginia is a high-calibre young goalkeeper who has already made his senior Everton debut, against Salford in the League Cup last month, but it looks as though he’ll have to bide his time for more minutes.

That said, he’s very highly rated at Goodison Park – as well as other peers such as Burnett in this case – and, given his young age combined with goalkeepers usually playing for a lot longer than outfielders, there’s plenty of time.

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