Mark Bowen admits Joao Virginia's loan spell at Reading 'hasn't gone well for him' and believes there is a decision to make on his future.

The 20-year-old has made only three appearances for the Championship side since joining on a season-long deal in July.

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Virginia played in the opening two league games of the season but his only game-time since August has been in the Carabao Cup in late September. He has also failed to make the matchday squad on eight occasions.

Everton could recall Virginia in the January window after a clause was included in the loan deal but the ECHO understands the Blues can only trigger it in a defined period and would not have the entire month in which to act.

When asked about the potential of the shot-stopper returning to Merseyside, Bowen replied: "He came in as hopefully being a no.1 but then it changed with Rafael [Cabral] coming in. His experience and ability has kept Virginia on the sidelines.

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"There's no point hiding from it - it hasn't gone well for him. He trains hard every day but in terms of his mental well-being and where he sees his future he has decisions to make, as do Everton and Reading.

"I can't speak highly enough of him as a professional but coming in at 19 it was a big ask to come in as a starter week in, week out. We're aware it hasn't gone well for him but I'm sure it will resolve itself either way in the next few weeks."

Virginia joined Everton from Arsenal in the summer of 2018.