Tuesday, August 9, 2022

West Ham United Showing Interest In Recruiting This English Keeper: Good Choice For Moyes?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, the Express and Star has claimed that West Ham United are showing interest in recruiting West Bromwich Albion keeper Sam Johnstone in the summer. However, it is believed that the Hammers might have to rival Southampton in the race to land the English goalie, whose current contract runs out at the end of this season but the Baggies are planning to intensify their talks with the player over a new deal.

Johnstone’s Excellent Form At The Hawthorns This Season

The Preston-born talent has made an impressive start to this campaign after putting in a run of impressive displays as West Brom’s first-choice keeper. Johnstone has featured in 15 matches for the Baggies this season, conceding 12 goals and keeping seven clean sheets in the process across all fronts.

The 28-year-old has done well to average 1.8 clearances and 9.5 long balls per game in the EFL Championship. He has often gone long when distributing the ball which explains why he has only completed 49.4% of his attempted passes in the English second division (stats via whoscored).

West Ham United (Sam Johnstone)
ANDORRA LA VELLA, ANDORRA – OCTOBER 09: Sam Johnstone and Jesse Lingard of England at the final whistle during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Andorra and England at Estadi Nacional on October 09, 2021 in Andorra la Vella, Andorra. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Is Sam Johnstone A Good Choice For West Ham United?

Johnstone has decent reflexes that help him pull off a few solid saves at the back. He is a good handler of the ball and doesn’t mind coming out of his six-yard box to clear the danger when needed.

The English goalkeeper has a good football IQ and can get a lot of distance with his goal-kicks. Hence, there are some concerns over whether he can settle into David Moyes’ playing style of possession-based football at the London Stadium if West Ham end up acquiring his services.

At the moment, Lukasz Fabianski remains the Hammers’ number choice for the goalkeeping position but his contract is set to run out at the end of this campaign. Hence, it makes sense for Moyes to try and attempt to lure the talented custodian to the English capital next year. At 28, Johnstone is playing at his prime and would be a good choice for the East London giants to pursue if he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2022.

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