West Brom can’t have too many complaints about many of their players this season.
The Baggies have been one of the Championship’s dominant forces this term, losing just five games, and one man who deserves a lot of credit for that is Sam Johnstone.
A bad goalkeeper can cost you at any level, just look at Kiko Casilla’s numerous high-profile mistakes at Leeds, but Johnstone has been safe as houses between the sticks at West Brom.
One would think that his spot is secure for the foreseeable future, but the fact of the matter is that one loanee is staking a claim to challenge for the right to be number one.
Alex Palmer is having an incredibly impressive loan spell at Plymouth Argyle.
You can make the argument that it’s only League Two level, but you’ll be surprised at how many stoppers cut their teeth in the lower leagues before going on to bigger and better things.
Just look at England’s current crop of goalkeepers, Jordan Pickford spent time at Bradford City, Carlisle United and Burton Albion, Dean Henderson played for both Grimsby and Shrewsbury, while Nick Pope had to learn his trade with Bury and York.
That would suggest that lower-league football is a great way to prepare goalkeepers for a big step up, and Palmer is showing that he may be worth a shot next season.
You can only save what is being thrown at you as a goalkeeper, and Palmer not only has a higher save percentage than Johnstone, but he is busier than him, making more saves throughout the course of the season.
The 22-year-old has certainly given the Baggies something to think about next term, and if he can keep up this level when he returns to the Hawthorns, Johnstone’s spot could be under fire.