West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is expected to leave The Hawthorns this summer.
That’s according to a Joseph Masi report in the Express & Star, which relayed the comments made by Valerien Ismael in his first press conference as the new West Brom manager.
One of the major topics of conversation was the future of Albion shot-stopper Johnstone, who has been heavily linked with a move away from the Championship side this summer, with the Frenchman admitting that he expects the 28-year-old to leave.
Ismael said: “It’s not a secret that Sam Johnstone… can maybe leave the club. It’s my expectation that they [will] leave. But I don’t need the best players, I need the right players for the position. Even if they leave, we will find the solution or we will reinvest the money.”
With Johnstone having highly impressed for West Brom in the Premier League last season, as well as the fact the ‘keeper is currently away on England duty, perhaps it was to be expected that the £7.2m-rated man would be moving on to pastures new this summer.
However, Ismael’s latest comments on the matter do make the possibility of the goalkeeper’s departure very much a reality, with the 45-year-old’s remarks sure to have left the Baggies’ fanbase gutted.
These returns saw the man Sam Allardyce dubbed a “magnificent” goalkeeper earn a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.03, ranking him as the club’s second-best performer in the top flight of English football.
As such, with West Brom hoping for a swift return to the Premier League next season, retaining the services of Johnstone would have provided the club with a massive boost to their chances of going on and achieving this feat.
However, following Ismael’s recent statement on the future of the England international, it would seem advisable for Albion fans not to hold out too much hope of seeing the ‘keeper at The Hawthorns next season.