This is one of the great stories of the 2020-2021 financial year in the Premier League. If West Bromwich Albion is preparing to return to the Championship at the end of the season, the Baggies are likely to part ways with Sam Johnstone (28), a goalkeeper who has been successful in the midst of a relatively dark season on the side of The Hawtorns. The Manchester United-trained native of Preston has chained loans in second-class rosters in the lower divisions of Her Majesty’s Kingdom for years (Oldham Athletic, Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Yoevil Town, Doncaster Rovers, Preston North End ), from 2011 to 2016, before really taking off. In 2017-2018, it is with the jersey of Aston Villa, still as part of a loan with the Villans, that the qualities of the English goalkeeper begin to be revealed in the eyes of the British public. Its performance notably allows Aston Villa to join the Championship play-offs but the Birmingham formation fails at the gates of the PL by losing against Fulham in the final (0-1).
In any case, to convince West Bromwich Albion, in 2018, to give him the keys to the number 1 position by writing a check for € 7.35 million to Manchester United for a player who has never had his chance on the side of ‘Old Trafford (0 pro game). After a failure in the semifinals of the Championship play-offs for its first season, the Baggies manage to return to the Premier League at the end of the 2019-2020 season by finishing in second place in the antechamber of English football. A final result to which Sam Johnstone is far from foreign. And for his first season at the highest level across the Channel, the former Red Devil was determined to prove his worth in order to stay in a championship in which he dreamed of playing.
Euro 2020 with England before playing Europe next season?
Paradoxically, if WBA has the worst defense in the Kingdom (68 goals conceded), Sam Johnstone, whose save percentage stands at 70.8% in PL, took advantage of the feverishness of his defense to prove himself. He indeed has the status of goalkeeper having achieved the greatest number of saves in the Premier League (150), ahead of Illan Meslier (Leeds, 140) and Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield, 133), with three games remaining and just before to face Liverpool and its offensive armada (5.30 p.m. this Sunday). The performances of Sam Johnstone, who long delayed the inevitable for WBA, have far from gone unnoticed by our English neighbors. They even earned him to discover, the same year as his first steps in the Premier League, the English selection. The rampart of West Brom was indeed summoned by Gareth Southgate as the 3rd goalkeeper, behind Nick Pope (Burnley) and Dean Henderson (Manchester United), on March 18 during the last list before Euro 2020.
A few days before the announcement of the list of 26 English chosen by the coach of the Three Lions, Sam Johnstone is on track to win his duel from a distance with Jordan Pickford (Everton) and can dream big for the end of the season, where he will have to continue his momentum to confirm his place in the England team. Especially since it is rumored in the British media that West Ham, who could be European next season, would hold the rope to afford the services of Sam Johnstone. But the latter is also of interest to Tottenham and … Manchester United, who are looking for an understudy for Dean Henderson in the event of David de Gea leaving this summer. The price of the principal interested party should be around 23 M €. It seems in any case inevitable to see Sam Johnstone continue to evolve in the Premier League in 2021-2022, he who should live a turbulent summer between the Euro and the transfer window. A nice revenge and a fair reward for a goalkeeper who revealed himself late in England.