Joseph Masi has dropped an update on the future of West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
Speaking recently on the Baggies Broadcast podcast (via This Is Futbol), the Express & Star journalist stated his belief that, while the 28-year-old shot-stopper could leave the club in January if he were to receive an extraordinary offer, the England international will more than likely remain at The Hawthorns until the end of the current campaign.
Regarding the goalkeeper’s future, Masi said: “The situation with Johnstone obviously is that if he becomes a free agent [next summer], he will basically get a massive signing-on fee.
“I think Johnstone could definitely leave in January if something unbelievable emerges, and of course, he’ll take it – but I thoroughly, thoroughly expect him to see out the season with Albion and assess his options in the summer.”
Considering just how important a part of the West Brom side Johnstone has proven himself to be in recent years, the news that the ‘keeper does indeed look set to remain with the Baggies for the duration of their 2021/22 campaign is sure to come as music to the ears of fans.
Indeed, over his 20 Championship appearances this season, the £7.2m-rated man has kept nine clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.6 saves and 1.9 runs out per game, with these returns seeing the shot-stopper average a SofaScore match rating of 6.88.
However, it was over the 28-year-old’s 37 Premier League outings last season in which he demonstrated his ability at the highest level of the English game, keeping six clean sheets and making an average of 4.5 saves per fixture – the most of any ‘keeper in the top flight.
As such, keeping hold of Johnstone beyond the closure of the winter transfer window will undoubtedly provide Valerien Ismael’s chances of securing promotion back to the Premier League with a major boost, while losing the ‘keeper could well prove to be the final nail in the coffin for the Baggies’ hopes of a top-two finish this season.