Steve Bruce must axe goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for the remainder of the season in order to prepare for life without him after the summer.
The former Premier League champion has had a “successful” career at the Baggies in the words of reporter Steve Madeley, but it looks like it could be about to come to an end with his contract set to expire in the summer.
When speaking to the Athletic, manager Steve Bruce said “the likelihood is that Sam is going to leave.”
The shot-stopper is poised to join a club in the Premier League in the hopes of gaining a place in the England squad at this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.
West Brom will now be looking at replacements for Johnstone but their campaign as good as done, they should consider axing the ‘keeper from their starting line-up now to best prepare for life without him.
He has even been described as the “best English goalkeeper” by Jason Cundy.
So why drop him? Well, the Baggies have little to play for this season, their slim hopes of achieving a play-off spot were virtually ended with a 1-0 defeat to rivals Birmingham City the other week.
The remaining games they have would provide a great chance to give one of their other goalkeepers valuable experience in the league and would provide the coaching staff with a good idea of whether or not they could replace Johnstone.
Alex Palmer is the youngest of the three stoppers the club have available to them and has come through the academy having spent various spells on loan.
Now would be the perfect opportunity to give him a more regular chance at Championship level and it could pay off for Bruce.
IN other news: West Brom: Grady Diangana struggled in defeat to Stoke City…