Leeds United are reportedly considering a move to raid Sam Allardyce’s West Bromwich Albion for goalkeeper Sam Johnstone this summer, if the Baggies go down – and Kyle Bartley’s verdict on the stopper from 2019 will really excite fans.
Johnstone, 28, has been in magnificent form for the Midlands club this season. Even though he has conceded a whopping 57 goals in 29 games in the Premier League this season, Johnstone has caught the eye for West Brom, starring between the sticks.
The Express & Star report that Leeds are ‘believed to be interested’ in signing Johnstone this summer – with offers of £10million likely to be accepted if they do go down, something which is looking more and more likely despite a 5-2 win over Chelsea.
Speaking about Johnstone in 2019 during West Brom’s promotion season to the Premier League, Bartley raved about ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Johnstone – labelling his mental strength as “fantastic”.
“He is absolutely fantastic,” ex-Leeds man Bartley said to the Express & Star in 2019. “He’s one of, if not the best keeper in the league. He’s got the confidence and we’ve seen some of the saves he’s pulled off. He’s brilliant.
“I think he’s been superb all season, People are very quick to jump on certain things. For us, we know the ability he has and we’d never question it. He’s a confident character. He doesn’t say too much, but he’s strong mentally. He’s brilliant.”
TBR’s view – Johnstone as good as Meslier
That is the issue. Illan Meslier has been excellent for Leeds and deserves to continue as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper going forward. Aged just 21, he has enormous potential, and will maximise that potential if he continues to play regularly.
So, would Johnstone join a side where he might even end up being second-choice? Definitely not. Would Leeds spend £10million to sign a goalkeeper that is second choice? No. A good goalkeeper, but surely he isn’t needed at Elland Road.