With current Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster currently set to see their contracts expire next summer, the club have had their eye on adding a new shot-stopper to their squad in the past with previous reports linking them with a transfer move for West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
With Johnstone’s contract at the Midlands club also set to run out in 2022, there’s every possibility that he could be on the move at that point unless Johnstone puts pen to paper on a new deal at The Hawthorns before then.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, journalist Tom Barclay had his say on the possibility of Southampton making a move to sign Johnstone in January if West Brom would rather let him go for a fee instead of as a free agent in the summer.
He said: “You’re looking at probably less than £10m. I’m speculating there, but I imagine it’d be less than £10m.”
Johnston signed for West Brom back in the 2018 summer transfer window from Manchester United for a fee of £6.5m. Since then, the 28-year-old, who is currently valued at £7.2m according to Transfermarkt, has gone on to make a total of 145 appearances for the Baggies, firmly cementing himself as their first-choice goalkeeper.
On the international stage, Johnstone has made three senior appearances for England, keeping three clean sheets in the process.
Even though Barclay made it clear that the potential price tag of under £10m for Johnstone was merely speculation, we feel that if this is true and West Brom would be willing to part with their goalkeeper in January, the Saints should definitely look to see if they can add him to their squad rather than wait until the summer.
Additionally, we feel that if Ralph Hasenhuttl does sign Johnstone in January for the price that Barclay has suggested, we feel the supporters would be thrilled by this swoop.
After all, he is a proven international ‘keeper and performed incredibly well for West Brom last term. For instance, no goalkeeper made more saves (161) than the England stopper in the top-flight throughout 2020/21. That type of record would be crucial for the south coast side who find themselves near the bottom of the table.
With The Athletic claiming that McCarthy has agreed a new deal at St. Mary’s, we feel that Johnstone would be a good replacement for Forster if he leaves in the summer when his deal expires. Crucially, he would provide some healthy competition to the former for a number one spot in Hasenhuttl’s side.