David Moyes can land a top-tier upgrade on Lukasz Fabianski by launching a successful move for West Ham United to sign West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone this summer.
In quotes shared by the Express & Star, Baggies manager Sam Allardyce expects Albion to “do their very best” to keep hold of Johnstone amid widespread Premier League interest.
A decision on the 28-year-old’s future is not expected to be made until the end of the season, at which point Albion will know what division they will be competing in next term, with the West Midlands side currently nine points adrift of top-flight safety.
Premier League status is likely to play a key role in Johnstone deciding where he plays his club football next season, having already expressed desires of giving Gareth Southgate something to consider over his England team selection.
Johnstone received his first Three Lions call-up in March after impressing in the Premier League despite West Brom’s struggles, which has also resulted in admiration from other top-flight clubs.
Irons insider ExWHUemployee claimed over the weekend that the London Stadium natives are interested in a move for the 28-year-old, and they have an advantage over rival suitors in that Johnstone is represented by Will Salthouse, who has a close relationship with David Sullivan.
Manchester United have also been linked with the Preston-born shot-stopper recently as they look to take Johnstone back to Old Trafford three years after selling him to West Brom for £5m should either David de Gea or Dean Henderson depart.
It would make a great deal of sense for West Ham to target a new goalkeeper in the summer market, with Moyes’ current favoured options entering the twilight of their careers. Fabianski, who signed a one-year contract extension last month, has started 30 of the Irons’ 32 Premier League games this season, but he turned 36 on Sunday.
The £65,000-per-week shot-stopper’s deputy Darren Randolph, who started the other two top-flight fixtures in Fabianski’s absence, will turn 34 next month and has missed 11 of the east Londoners’ last 13 games with a thigh injury.
Launching a move to sign Johnstone may therefore be a wise move for Moyes and West Ham this summer, especially after some disgruntled fans called for Fabianski to be replaced following his error-strewn performance at Newcastle United on Saturday.
Alan Hutton has lauded Johnstone for being a “fantastic keeper”, who Allardyce also hailed after producing a stunning late save to see West Brom leave Anfield with a 1-1 draw at Liverpool earlier in the season.
“He’s one of the best. I think that’s pleasing to see as he’s one of the two most important people in your team,” the West Brom manager told talkSPORT. “He’s right up there at the right level and he’d already saved more shots than anybody before yesterday.”
Leeds United’s Illan Meslier has since overtaken Johnstone with 127 total saves to the Baggies ace’s 124, while ranking fifth across the Premier League for crosses punched (20) and successful runs out (10), per SofaScore.
Fabianski ranks 22nd for successful runs out to date with just three and is 13th for punches (seven), while making 89 total saves in the same number of games played as Johnstone.
It remains to be seen how high West Brom’s asking price would be and whether or not Johnstone would be open to a move to the London Stadium, but he would certainly offer Moyes an upgrade on Fabianski if a new goalkeeper is sought this summer.