Latest reports are confirming that Aston Villa will have a battle on their hands in keeping their loan star from Manchester United, Sam Johnstone. It is believed, Cardiff City, who already got promoted to the top flight, want the star, who is unlikely to return to Old Trafford to stay under the shadow of David De Gea.
“He is the best goalkeeper in the world,” Johnstone said of De Gea. “At United, I would watch him every day. He’s not much older than me but you just pick things up from him. He’s very calm – that’s the one thing I’ve taken from him. But obviously, his biggest quality is his shot-stopping which is unbelievable.”
“It’s very tough anyway to break in at a club like Man United. I’ve been there since I was 10-years-old but I was happy to play last year for Villa and get a full season this year. I’m enjoying playing football, I’m 25 now and you want to play every week.”
“At Man United, you are probably not going to play every week. I only have a year left on my contract. Hopefully, I will do my job properly, help the club get promoted and see what happens.”
“I really began to get into the groove of playing for Villa towards the back end of last season, and that carried over into this season,” he reflected. “I came in and endured a tough start and losing games to putting in good performances and winning plenty of matches.
“For me, it’s always been about being somewhere where you can play football and have that continuity, which is great. Performance wise, it’s the best season of my career. It’s the most amount of games I’ve played in a season, and the only campaign in which I’ll have played every game if I keep going how I am.”
“That’s new for me. And I have to thank Gary Walsh and the other goalkeepers here for helping me every single day and preparing me to go out on a Saturday and perform. There’s a lot of people in the background helping out all the lads, who deserve a lot of credit.”
“I enjoy it here. I love playing football here and training every day,” Johnstone added. “But the truth is I’ve not spoken to anyone about it as of yet. My plan is to finish off this season and then see what Manchester United and Aston Villa’s position is on the matter.”
“I want to keep playing football. I’m enjoying the number of games I’m playing. The Premier League is where you want to be week in, week out. I’d love it for this club to be a part of that next season and for many years to come. Hopefully, we can all keep performing at a good level for the rest of the season and make that happen.”
“At the moment, though, it’s very much a case of I’ve not spoken to anyone at United and we’ll see in the summer. But I do want to carry on playing as much football as possible. I want that continuity. I had it from the end of last season into this season and I don’t want it to stop now. I want it to continue into the next campaign. That’s where I stand on it.”
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It is now being believed that should Villa fail to qualify, Cardiff may become the front-runners to rope in the talented goalkeeper. The newly promoted side have been extremely impressive in the second division this season. They have not been as explosive as Wolves but Cardiff did well enough to earn an automatic qualification. Neil Warnock’s side, however, has only two goalkeepers, one of whom is way too old to play in the top division. They will need a fresh pair of hands at the back and Johnstone could just be the man.