Dwight McNeil has named Joao Virginia as one player that really impressed him for Everton last night.

Speaking to the official club website, the Toffees winger hailed Virginia as a ‘great goalkeeper’ after making a number of impressive saves to pick up a clean sheet against Bolton Wanderers.

Everton travelled to Bolton yesterday evening as they faced the League One club in their third pre-season outing. Sean Dyche’s side played out a goalless draw to remain unbeaten so far.

Bolton Wanderers v Everton - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Speaking on Virginia, McNeil said: “Joao is good, I like him, he’s a good character around the group as well.

“He made some good saves, especially the one towards the end of the first half. It’s good for him to get 90 minutes, he’s a great goalkeeper.”

The 23-year-old has only made two appearances for Everton since joining the club in 2018, while he spent last season on loan with Dutch club SC Cambuur.

The Portuguese shot-stopper signed a new two-year deal with the Toffees earlier this month and has already impressed in between the sticks as he looks to force his way up the pecking order.

Joao Virginia could be named the next Everton back-up ‘keeper

Everton have been on the hunt for a new back-up goalkeeper to Jordan Pickford following Asmir Begovic’s exit this summer.

The Toffees have been left with only Joao Virginia and 39-year-old Andy Lonergan, while Joel Robles was previously linked with a return to Goodison Park.

sc Heerenveen v SC Cambuur - Dutch Eredivisie
Photo by Henk Jan Dijks/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images

However, Virginia may make Sean Dyche reconsider if he can keep up some quality performances during pre-season. The former Portugal youth international may be planning to pick up more game time if he has already put pen to paper on new contract.

With rumours of Pickford’s departure going cold following Andre Onana’s arrival at Manchester United, the Toffees’ goalkeeping situation is now looking significantly less concerning.

Related Topics