Everton goalkeeper Jonas Lossl’s imminent return to FC Midtjylland can give Joao Virginia his chance to impress Carlo Ancelotti.
According to The Athletic, Lossl is on the verge of completing a deal to re-join his former side, Midtjylland, on a free transfer to end his Merseyside nightmare.
The 31-year-old shot-stopper has 18-months remaining on his £28,000-per-week contract but is expected to be allowed to return to the Danish side without a fee, having failed to establish himself at Goodison Park since his arrival in the summer of 2019.
Lossl joined Everton from Huddersfield Town following their relegation to the Championship but is yet to play a single minute for the Blues, while returning to the John Smith’s Stadium for the latter half of the 2019/20 term on loan.
The signing of Robin Olsen in the last transfer window further pushed Lossl down Ancelotti’s pecking order, with the Italian handing the AS Roma loanee five outings across all competitions as the Everton boss feels he is no better or worse than Jordan Pickford.
Reports by the Liverpool Echo earlier in the week claimed that Toffees chiefs had reached an agreement with Lossl on the remainder of his contract after the one-time Denmark international asked to leave now rather than hold out until the summer.
Lossl feels leaving Goodison Park ahead of Monday night’s deadline is the right decision for the sake of his international career, given the rescheduled Euro 2020 is on the horizon.
Ancelotti was the second Everton manager to overlook Lossl as both he and Marco Silva opted to name a 37-year-old Maarten Stekelenburg on the bench at times last season, even if Pickford made blunders that left fans and pundits irate.
Olsen has since replaced Stekelenburg in the ranks at Goodison Park and is clearly thought of fondly by Ancelotti, who wants to make his loan deal permanent, making it no wonder that Lossl and Everton are open to parting ways as soon as possible.
But Lossl’s exit will be seen as a blessing for academy goalkeeper Virginia, who will likely now be given a chance to impress Ancelotti as the Italian’s third-choice option after a challenging campaign back on Merseyside following a season on loan with Reading.
Virginia returned to Ancelotti’s matchday squad for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Newcastle United, having been omitted from the previous 16 in the Premier League, after featuring on the bench in the first two games of the term.
The 21-year-old also started the Carabao Cup Second Round clash with Salford City and kept a clean sheet, yet his four months in the wilderness have returned few opportunities to feature for the Under 23s, having played just five Premier League 2 fixtures all season.
Ancelotti may now look to keep the youngster, who former Reading boss Jose Gomes claimed is “gifted”, on hand to provide cover between the sticks, and the chance to work with the Italian, Pickford, Olsen and the first-team coaching crew may see that he emerges as the Blues’ potential future number one.
If Ancelotti ultimately does not like what he sees from the 6 ft 3 colossus, at least he and Everton will know they have to hit the transfer market in the summer to find a more suitable option. But the upsides of promoting Virginia full-time are as clear as ever as Lossl prepares to leave.
AND in other news, a £70k-p/w gem let Carlo Ancelotti down as Everton lost to Newcastle…