There is a pressing need for some of the youth on Everton’s squad to get competitive experience which they are unlikely to get with the seniors.
As widely expected, Kieran Dowell and Joao Virginia will spend the 2019-20 season out on loan in the Championship. Earlier in the day we’d heard that Derby County were going to come for the attacking midfielder and the Blues confirmed it later on.
With the Rams manager Frank Lampard leaving to take over at Chelsea, they replaced him with Philip Cocu. Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands is very familiar with Cocu having worked with him at PSV Eindhoven, and it appears Cocu called him first after getting appointed.
Dowell is Derby’s first signing of the summer, and the youngster will get another chance to show that he can impress in the Championship. Huddersfield Town and Wigan Athletic were also in the running for the 21-year-old.
He had done well with Nottingham Forest two seasons ago, before having a quieter loan spell at Sheffield United last season, with the Blades winning promotion to the Premier League.
The youngster has flown out to Florida where the Rams are in their preseason training camp.
Meanwhile, Virginia will also be in the Championship next year, with Reading FC. The highly-rated youngster who Silva thinks is ready to play big time football won the double with the Under-23s, lifting the Premier League 2 and the Premier League Cup.
Reading, led by Portuguese manager Jose Manuel Gomes, will be looking to improve upon a 20th place finish last season in the Championship.
Virginia flew out to join his new side who are currently in Estepona, Spain on their preseason training schedule. The 19-year-old has been highly praised by manager David Unsworth a number of times throughout the season, with even Silva noting his exploits.
”Joao has done really well (this season). It was a very good opportunity for us and Hugo (Oliveira), my goalkeeper coach knows him really well, spoke to me about him, we decided to get him. It was a good opportunity for us, we knew his situation at his previous club (Arsenal).
“It was a very good price at this moment in football and we are really happy because he has not just helped the u-23s because every session he helps the players, at the end of every session he is there with Gylfi, Richarlison, Lookman and our strikers and not just for five minutes. He is always open to do that.
“The level of u-23s is not so good for him now, he is at another level already and he showed that. It is up to us to now decide if he is ready to be here and compete or to play more in another place. We are really happy with him.”
Here’s wishing both Dowell and Virginia all the very best this coming season, and follow their progress right here on RBM in our weekly Loan Recap feature.