Sam Johnstone would be taking a risk if he opted to leave West Bromwich Albion for Southampton next month, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.
Johnstone has an uncertain future at the Hawthorns as he will enter the final six months of his contract at the turn of the year.
What’s the latest news involving Johnstone?
With Johnstone’s deal coming to an end in the not-too-distant future, West Brom head coach Valerien Ismael has claimed the goalkeeper will not allow transfer speculation to affect his performances.
The Athletic’s Albion correspondent Steve Madeley has revealed he is not expecting any Premier League clubs to be willing to part with the kind of money Albion would want for Johnstone when the transfer window reopens next month.
West Ham saw a £10million bid rejected during the summer, with Johnstone’s current employers hoping to claim double that fee.
But, according to The Telegraph, the Hammers are the frontrunners to eventually get their transfer target when Johnstone’s Hawthorns deal reaches its climax.
What has Tom Barclay said about Johnstone?
With West Brom challenging for an immediate return to the Premier League, Barclay believes it would be a risky move for Johnstone to join Southampton in the early stages of 2022.
The journalist has warned the shot-stopper could not be assured of playing top flight football at St Mary’s next season as Saints are currently hovering above the relegation zone.
Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “West Brom aren’t a million miles off the automatic promotion places in the Championship.
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“There’s a long way to go and maybe they won’t get promoted, but they’ve got a chance. If he stays with them, he could be playing Premier League football next year.
“If he joins Southampton in January, I think they’ll probably have enough to stay up, but it’s by no means guaranteed so that’s a bit of a gamble.”
What are West Brom’s other options if Johnstone does leave?
Should Johnstone move onto pastures new, Ismael would be left with just two senior goalkeepers in the form of David Button and Alex Palmer.
But, with Johnstone being Ismael’s first-choice option between the sticks, Button and Palmer have not featured for some time.
Button’s only appearance of the season came in the opening day stalemate with Bournemouth, with him being an unused substitute in all but one Championship fixture since.
Palmer, meanwhile, only made his Baggies debut in the Carabao Cup clash with Arsenal in August and has not featured following the 6-0 thumping.
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