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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Goalkeeping coach Inaki Bergara is confident Everton have signed one of the best young stoppers around in Spaniard Joel Robles.
Bergara learned plenty of the Blues' new arrival last season when the 23-year-old spent five months on loan at Wigan.

That move followed a long-term project to keep tabs on the young custodian, a player Bergara and manager Roberto Martinez first began tracking during their days together at Swansea.

“When we started at Swansea we started following a lot of young goalkeepers and Joel was one of them,” Bergara revealed in an interview with “We then had the chance to bring him to England in January and with Wigan he did really well.

“He is very passionate and he is a hard worker, but also he is fun, happy and not too serious a person. 

Day Two

"He is a good listener on the training pitch and takes everything in. His distribution is very good – he can play football - and that is something Roberto likes. He is also very relaxed on the pitch but always concentrating. For the full 90 minutes he is switched on.

“For someone so young, he has a lot of experience because of his time playing for the Spanish youth teams. It is a very good signing for us and we’re pleased to have him in the team.” 

During his time with the Latics, Joel helped Martinez secure a shock FA Cup success, making one particularly memorable save from striker Carlos Tevez as his side overcame Manchester City in the final.

Bergara believes the potential evident that day will now blossom at Everton after his path became blocked at the Estadio Vicente Calderón.

He explained: “Atletico had Thibaut Courtois on loan from Chelsea last year and he had a very good season because he is a fantastic keeper. He has now gone back [for another loan spell at Atletico] and that may have closed the door a little bit for Joel. Atletico also have Sergio Asenjo, who they spent good money on but who has been unfortunate with injuries.

“For Joel, I think coming here was the best option – for him and for us.”

Robles could make his first appearance in the opening summer friendly against Austria Vienna on Sunday. To watch the game exclusively online, click here and sign up.

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