Everton have confirmed the signing of Arsenal youth goalkeeper Joao Virginia on a three-year deal.
Everton have announced the signing of young goalkeeper Joao Virginia from Arsenal. The Portuguese stopper has signed a three year deal with the Blues, and will likely replace Mateusz Hewelt in the U-23 squad according to Skysports.
Mateusz Hewelt will receive a promotion to the senior squad, where he’ll become the third goalkeeper behind Jordan Pickford and Maarten Stekelenburg.
The 18-year-old is a Portugal youth international, who joined Arsenal back in 2015 after rising through the ranks of the Benfica academy.
The goalkeeper appeared for Arsenal’s U-18 and U-23 sides last season – eventually making up to 22 appearances at youth level. Virginia has also featured at youth level for his country Portugal and was recently part of the team that defeated Italy in the U-19 Euro Championship final in Finland on Sunday.
Virginia who has appeared for both the Arsenal and Portugal youth sides looks to be a player with lots of talent. He needs time to develop under the guidance of David Unsworth, but it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if he takes the place of Stekelenburg in the nearest future.
Speaking to the Everton website, a delighted Virginia said:
‘I am pleased to be at Everton. Hope to learn a lot from the goalkeepers here, Jordan Pickford, who had a great season and World Cup and Maarten Stekelenburg, who is very experienced, too. This is a great opportunity for me.’