When Sam Johnstone joined Crystal Palace during the summer transfer window, he was probably hoping that some strong performances in the Premier League could see him re-establish himself in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
The shot-stopper earned three caps for the Three Lions during his time with West Brom and was keen to move back to the Premier League after a season in the Championship with the Baggies, which saw him lose his place.
While there is strong competition in goal for England, with Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope all good contenders, Johnstone will surely have backed himself to earn a call-up after securing his move to Crystal Palace.
Sadly, the 29-year-old may now be regretting his switch to Selhurst Park, as he has made just two appearances in the Carabao Cup so far this season, with Vicente Guaita very much first-choice in Patrick Vieira’s thinking.
Southgate’s squad was announced on Thursday afternoon and it was no surprise to see Johnstone miss out on what could have potentially been his first and only chance at making a World Cup.
Although it is perhaps expected that Johnstone will take over from the 35-year-old Guaita at Crystal Palace in the not-too-distant future, he will have surely wanted to be a regular this season to give himself the best possible chance of a call-up.
Considering the £4m-rated ‘keeper’s form he showed in his last Premier League season with West Brom, which saw Sam Allardyce sing his praises on talkSPORT, it is a fair assumption that he would be a starter for a lot of clubs in the top flight.
Allardyce said: “Brilliant, absolutely brilliant and of course he’s just as frustrated as me by all these goals going in and he’s trying his best.
“He is a fantastic goalkeeper.”
Despite clean sheets in both of his appearances for the Eagles thus far, it seems likely that Vieira will stick with Guaita as his Premier League goalkeeper, which may only make Johnstone question his transfer further after his World Cup omission.