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Everton poach goalie off Arsenal youth squad

Blues sign Joao Virginia for Under-23s from the Gunners

Arsenal U23 v FC Porto U23: Premier League International Trophy Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images

Everton have announced the signing of young goalkeeper Joao Virginia from Arsenal. The Portuguese stopper has signed a 3 year deal with the Blues, and looks likely to replace Mateusz Hewelt in the U-23 squad.

Hewelt, for his part, is expected to receive a promotion to the senior squad, where he’ll serve as the third goalkeeper behind Jordan Pickford and Maarten Stekelenburg.

Virginia has appeared for both the Arsenal and Portugal youth sides, and looks to be a player with a fair bit of talent. He’ll need to spend some time developing with David Unsworth, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he phased out Stekelenburg within the next few years.

Speaking to the Everton website, Virginia said:

I am really happy 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.

Welcome, Joao!