Graham Smyth has stated his belief that Leeds United should make a move for Sam Johnstone this summer.
In a series of recent posts on Twitter, the Yorkshire Evening Post chief football writer suggested that the goalkeeper – who is set to leave West Bromwich Albion upon the expiry of his current contract in June – would be an excellent signing for Victor Orta to get over the line this summer, as the England international would seriously push Illan Meslier for his starting spot in Jesse Marsch’s side.
In his tweets, Smyth said: “What a free transfer Johnstone will be for someone this summer… I’d certainly take him [as] backup, but to genuinely push Meslier for the number one spot.”
Considering how impressive Johnstone was for West Brom during Albion’s last spell in the top flight back in 2020/21, it is easy to see why Smyth believes the 29-year-old would be a good target for Orta to pursue this summer.
Indeed, over his 37 Premier League appearances that season, the £10.8m-rated stopper was one of the Baggies’ standout performers, keeping six clean sheets and making an average of an extraordinary 4.5 saves per game – the most in the league.
These returns saw the £32.5k-per-week goalkeeper who Gary Lineker dubbed “unbelievable” and Kieran Doody labelled “unreal” earn an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.03, ranking him as the Albion’s second-best player in the league – an incredibly impressive feat considering West Brom’s ultimate relegation from the division.
For comparison, over Meslier’s 38 Premier League fixtures this season, the £18m-rated talent kept five clean sheets, conceded 79 goals and made an average of 3.8 saves per game, with these metrics seeing the France U21 international average a SofaScore match rating of 6.87.
As such, it would certainly appear as if Johnstone would make a fantastic addition to Marsch’s current options between the sticks, especially when considering he is available on a free – leading us to believe that Orta simply must make a move for the England shot-stopper this summer.