Southampton have been linked with West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone recently and he would solve a key issue in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side if he did move to St Mary’s.
According to The Athletic, Southampton will prioritise bringing in a new goalkeeper next summer and have already begun looking at potential options, with Johnstone high up on their list of targets.
It is no surprise that he is being considered by the Saints, who are outsiders for the drop with bembybet.com this year, as he has plenty of Premier League experience with West Brom, with whom he was relegated last season, and he will potentially be looking for a move back to the top-flight should Albion fail to earn promotion this season.
At 28, he is a good age for a goalkeeper, and his performances last season were extremely impressive and earned him his first England caps, with Micah Richards suggesting that he enjoyed an “outstanding” season.
He will also, as it stands, be available on a free transfer due to his contract at the Hawthorns expiring in 2022, so it would make a huge amount of sense for Southampton to consider signing him, especially considering their current goalkeeping situation.
Hasenhuttl alternated between Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster in the second half of last season after the former seemed to suffer a crisis of confidence following the 9-0 thrashing against Manchester United, whilst Forster’s impressive FA Cup form allowed him to come in for some Premier League games.
However, it is the former QPR man who has been preferred so far this season and he was handed a new three-year contract recently, which all but confirms his spot as the first-choice this season, whereas Forster looks set to depart at the end of the campaign when his contract expires.
It seems strange that the Saints weren’t keen on bringing in a new goalkeeper this summer as they conceded the second-most goals in the Premier League last season, despite only having the seventh-worst xGA, which emphasises that some of the blame must be attributed to their goalkeepers.
You could argue that neither McCarthy nor Forster are the ideal long-term options for Southampton and a new, younger, better shot-stopper such as Johnstone could solve a key issue for Hasenhuttl, so Martin Semmens should do everything he can to sign him.