According to The Athletic, Arsenal are eyeing a swoop for Sam Johnstone. The West Brom goalkeeper has emerged as a potential target for the Gunners as they look to reshape their goalkeeping unit. As such, they have lodged an enquiry, exploring the availability of the former Manchester United starlet, although the Baggies have already rejected a bid from West Ham United.
Sam Johnstone’s Success At West Brom
Sam Johnstone joined West Brom in 2018, in a €7.3 million move from Manchester United. He instantly became a first-team regular for the club, notching over 130 competitive appearances during his ongoing three-year stint with the Baggies.
Although Johnstone was crucial in helping West Brom gain promotion in the 2019/20 campaign, he has primarily turned heads with his performances in the Premier League last season.
In 37 matches, the goalkeeper conceded 74 goals with just six clean sheets. However, in the process, the Englishman made 161 saves with a save percentage of over 70%. His quick reflexes and imposing figure inside the box earned him a lot of plaudits, with the former United man even winning his first England cap this summer.
Johnstone was, in fact, a part of the Three Lions setup that reached the final of Euro 2020. And with West Brom relegated back to the Championship, it appears the highly-rated goalkeeper could be on the move this summer, as he hopes to make a stronger case for becoming his nation’s number one in between the sticks.
Stat courtesy: FBRef
Is Johnstone A Good Investment For Arsenal?
Arsenal are facing a precarious situation, as far as their goalkeeping department is concerned. Bernd Leno endured a disappointing 2020/21 campaign, but it appears unlikely that he would leave this summer.
Elsewhere, last season’s loan signing Mat Ryan has opted to join Real Sociedad while Runar Alex Runarsson hasn’t convinced Mikel Arteta with his performances. As such, the Gunners are in the market for a new goalkeeper, who can thwart Leno as the first-choice in between the sticks next season.
Johnstone fits the bill perfectly due to his success at West Brom, especially in the 2020/21 Premier League. His performances have been indicative of his quality as a goalkeeper indicating the fact that he has what it takes to become one of England’s best shot-stoppers.
The 28-year-old, therefore, should be a smart investment from Arsenal’s perspective. He has the form and experience while West Brom’s relegation should force the Baggies to cash in on him for a cut-price – making Johnstone a potential bargain this summer.