What Paul Merson said about Arsenal target Sam Johnstone
Paul Merson may be very pleased to see reports from over the weekend claiming that Arsenal want Sam Johnstone – having tipped the goalkeeper for a top club earlier this year.
According to the Daily Star, the West Brom star is on the Gunners’ radar as they consider alternative targets to Aaron Ramsdale.
The report claims that £20 million may be enough to sign the 28-year-old.
Johnstone went into this summer off the back of a really impressive year. He was one of the standout performers for the Baggies.
Obviously, they were relegated. But his stock did rise. And many will now be expecting him to depart the Hawthorns – including his own boss.
But another who may expect him to move on could be former Gunners star Merson. The pundit suggested back in February that he could see Johnstone sticking around the top flight even if West Brom went down.
“He is a good goalkeeper, another one who is doing himself massive favours,” he told Sky Sports News (broadcast on 20/2; 14:56). “If West Brom get relegated, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a top club. He has done everything right.”
Arsenal now face tricky decision amid Sam Johnstone interest
Johnstone is available for a smaller fee than the £25 million-rated Ramsdale. However, there are likely to be plenty who feel that the latter would be the better investment.
Ramsdale is younger and has more Premier League experience. And crucially, Johnstone’s contract expires next summer.
So paying £20 million this summer may be deemed by some to be a questionable piece of business.
As Merson hinted, he looks to have the potential to really shine at the top end of the table.
But if Arsenal are looking at the better piece of business in the long-term, surely signing Ramsdale would make more sense.