West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael must offer Sam Johnstone a significant pay rise in order to keep the goalkeeper at The Hawthorns.
That’s according to a claim made by the Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield, who stated in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT that the only way West Brom will be able to convince the England international to put pen to paper on a new deal with the Championship side is to substantially increase his reported £30k-per-week salary.
In the interview, Hatfield said: “The club are in talks with him. It was an unfortunate situation for Sam, dropping out of the Premier League.
“It’s an interesting one for Sam because he could either play out his contract and get a free move in the summer or maybe re-sign with Albion if they go up, or he could commit his future to his club and protect his value and maybe get a little bit of a wage bump.
“That’s the only way I can see him signing a new deal unless he’s very happy at the club. He’s still getting England call-ups as well.”
Considering just how important a part of the West Brom team Johnstone has been in recent seasons, it would seem highly advisable for Ismael to offer the 28-year-old a new deal with a significant pay rise, as Hatfield suggests.
Indeed, despite the club’s relegation from the Premier League back in 2020/21, the £7.2m-rated ‘keeper nevertheless highly impressed over his 37 league appearances, keeping six clean sheets and making a rather extraordinary average of 4.5 saves per game.
And, while the former Manchester United man has not exactly been in the best form of his career over his ten Championship appearances so far this season, he has still managed to keep four clean sheets, save one penalty and average a SofaScore match rating of 6.88.
As such, losing the services of Johnstone in January would undoubtedly come as a major blow to Albion’s hopes of securing an immediate return to the Premier League this season, leading us to believe that Ismael indeed must do everything in his power to tie the 28-year-old down to a new deal in West Bromwich.