Some Everton supporters have been reacting on social media to an article by the Liverpool Echo that suggested Marco Silva may be open to reshuffling his goalkeeper options in the summer.
At present, the boss has Jordan Pickford as his first choice and Maarten Stekelenburg as his deputy, but the veteran Dutchman has been an unused substitute in all but two of our games across all competitions this season.
Under 23s star Joao Virginia is also expected to graduate from our academy this summer, having moved to Merseyside from Arsenal last year and gone on to help us clinch the Premier League 2 title for the second time in three years.
A final decision is yet to be made on whether that graduation will lead to a first-team role with the Toffees or a loan move away from Goodison Park for the term, but Silva has been impressed with what his compatriot has achieved since his switch.
“Joao has done really well [this season],” the boss said. “It was a very good opportunity [to see that against Blackburn in the Premier League Cup last month] 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, [as] we knew his situation at his previous club.
“It was a very good price at this moment in football, and we are really happy because he has not just helped the U23s, because every session he helps the players, at the end of every session he is there with Gylfi [Sigurdsson], Richarlison, [Ademola] Lookman and our strikers and not just for five minutes. He is always open to do that.”
Silva has also been full of praise for Stekelenburg, despite restricting the 2016 signing to just two EFL Cup appearances and the 36-year-old entering the final twelve months on his contract in July.
“The first thing I have to tell you, because it is the truth, is that he has been fantastic since the first day,” Silva added. “Big credit to him for that. And he will be fantastic until the end, because we are talking about a very, very good professional.
“His behaviour every day in training is fantastic, even if he knows that we will be playing Jordan. He is training hard every day and always ready to help.
“At the end of each session we normally do some finishing [work], and he and Joao are always ready to help.
“Even during the season, I took some decisions in the cups. In those moments he expected to play, but the team was not in a good moment, so I stuck with the same goalkeeper. It is not because I don’t have confidence in him.
“He is putting pressure on Jordan. The best way, as a goalkeeper, to put pressure on is by doing your job here during the week, and Maarten is doing that. It is up to me to decide, but he is doing his job.”
When the Liverpool Echo’s Phil Kirkbride later shared the report on Twitter, this is how some Everton fans replied…
Can’t believe some fans think England’s number one isn’t good enough for Everton. Give your heads a wobble.
— NeilBM (@nismoneil) May 6, 2019
Pickford is not a smart player that’s his main weakness area…chasing a player outside the box is not looking nice (Chelsea game)…and he is a bit short for a keeper therefore couldn’t dominate 6 yard box…but for the next campaign no need to make changes at the keepers..
— Engin Erkan (@engerkan) May 6, 2019
We really just need consistency, our clean sheets in the last month were claimed because of dilvas choice in the midfield.. Solidify that and pickfords job is a little bit easier than it was in the first half of the season
— Mori Kakahi (@iam_Mori) May 6, 2019
Would be good if Virgina could go out on loan and play regular on L1 or Championship.
That would mean keeping Stek and signing another keeper.
— Neil (@spuddy1878) May 6, 2019
— Steviemac ???? (@steviemac2010) May 6, 2019
Cash in on Pickford and buy Tom Heaton
— Gerald Clifford (@GeraldGclifford) May 6, 2019