Arsenal and West Ham boost as Ismael confirms he expects Johnstone to leave
Valerien Ismael has confirmed – as reported by The Independent – that he expects Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira to leave this summer, in comments that may alert the likes of Arsenal and West Ham.
Johnstone, in particular, has been linked with a raft of Premier League sides in recent months.
Johnstone was a shining light in a difficult season for West Brom. As shown by FB Ref, no goalkeeper made more saves in the top flight last year.
His form earned him a place in the England squad at Euro 2020. So it always looked to a big ask for the Baggies to keep the stopper, as well as Pereira.
And Ismael has now suggested that he is not expecting to have them available once the window passes.
‘It’s my expectation’: Ismael confirms Arsenal and West Ham target Johnstone is set to leave West Brom
“It’s not a secret, Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira are the two players who can leave. It’s my expectation they will leave,” he said, as reported by The Independent.
“I don’t need the best players, I need the right players and even if they leave we will find the right solution.
“After I signed I had some video calls with all the players and it was the first time I spoke with Matheus, we spoke openly about the situation.
“I don’t have a problem. It’s very simple, you are in or you are out. But, if you are in, you are 100 per cent.”
Baggies may have been torn over Johnstone decision
Of course, it was never going to be easy to keep Johnstone. His stock has risen considerably over the last couple of years.
However, West Brom did appear to have a small chance. His contract expires next summer.
So surely, they must be tempted to suggest he sees out his deal before leaving on a free.
Obviously, losing him for nothing is not ideal. But if he leaves off the back of getting the club promoted, his departure would be easier to deal with.
He has not gone anywhere yet. So perhaps that is an option that is not completely off the table.
But Ismael is seemingly preparing for life without both Johnstone and Pereira at this stage.
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