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Midlands journalist drops Johnstone verdict

Midlands journalist Luke Hatfield admits he sees no reason for Sam Johnstone to sign a new contract at West Bromwich Albion.

The goalkeeper was linked with a move away from the club throughout the summer transfer window but no deal materialised.

West Ham United were reported to have tabled a bid for the player, worth around £10m.

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That offer was rejected by the Championship club as they looked to retain the England international, perhaps in the hope that West Ham would return with a bigger offer.

Instead, they have signed Alphonse Areola on loan from French giants PSG, perhaps scotching any chance Johnstone may have had of making a move to the Premier League.

His contract is currently set to expire at the end of the season, and Hatfield has his doubts over why he would commit to a new deal.

He said: “All the talks from the club are suggesting that they’re pushing for a new deal for him, they’re in talks. For me, it would be surprising, if I was in Sam Johnstone’s position. This is no disrespect to Albion whatsoever but for him, I don’t see the benefit of signing a new deal.

“The only benefit for him is if he gets a wage increase, which he’d be deserving of by the way.

“I’m not too sure of what his contract situation was after going down, I don’t know if there was a wage cut, but for me, if I was Sam Johnstone, and I mean this in the nicest possible respect to Albion because I cover the club and it’d be fantastic to see him stay, I don’t see a reason for him to do so.”

Johnstone has been with the Baggies since 2018 and has made 134 appearances for the club, in the Championship and the Premier League.

Article title: Midlands journalist drops Johnstone verdict

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