It seems as if Southampton are already making transfer plans for next summer, with West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone reportedly on their shortlist.
According to The Athletic’s Southampton correspondent Dan Sheldon, the Saints are targeting a move for the Baggies shot-stopper next summer, as they look for a long-term solution in goal.
It has been suggested for some time now that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will add a new goalkeeper to their ranks next summer, with Fraser Forster looking likely to leave when his contract expires at the end of this season, and Johnstone could be a superb replacement.
As it stands, the England international is also set to become a free agent next summer, which suggests that he could be a very appealing option for the Saints in the transfer market.
The 28-year-old produced some eye-catching saves last season despite West Brom’s relegation and deservedly earned himself a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championships.
It is no surprise that Southampton are looking for a new ‘keeper when you consider that they conceded 68 goals in the top-flight last season, whilst Alex McCarthy hasn’t covered himself in glory in his three appearances so far this season, conceding notably soft goals against Everton and Manchester United.
Former Baggies manager Sam Allardyce was full of praise for Johnstone last season, saying:
“He’s one of the best. I think that’s pleasing to see as he’s one of the two most important people in your team.
“The goalscorer is the first and your goalkeeper is the second.
“He’s right up there at the right level and he’d already saved more shots than anybody before yesterday.”
As a full England international, who is just 28-years-old and a player who has already proven himself in the Premier League, Johnstone could be a superb signing for Southampton, especially if he arrives on a free transfer, so Saints fans will surely be delighted with this update from Sheldon.