Friday, February 3, 2023

West Ham United To Rival Southampton For This English Keeper: Right Fit 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, Sky Sports claimed that West Ham United are set to rival Southampton for West Bromwich Albion keeper Sam Johnstone. It has been mentioned that both the Hammers and the Saints are eyeing a move for the English custodian when he becomes a free agent at the end of this campaign.

Johnstone’s Encouraging Form At The Hawthorns This Season

Johnstone has caught the eye with his performances for the Baggies during this campaign by producing a run of consistent displays in domestic football. The 28-year-old has made 16 appearances for the West Midlands club this season, conceding 13 goals and securing seven assists on all fronts.

The three-time England international deserves some credit for averaging 1.7 clearances and 9.6 long balls per game in the EFL Championship. However, Johnstone has often gone long with his goal-kicks which is why he has only completed 51.5% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

West Ham United (Sam Johnstone)
ANDORRA LA VELLA, ANDORRA – OCTOBER 09: Sam Johnstone of England looks on during the warm up prior to 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 David Ramos/Getty Images)
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Is Sam Johnstone The Right Choice For The Hammers?

Johnstone boasts decent reflexes that help him pull off a few important saves for his side when they need him the most. He is a good handler of the ball and doesn’t hesitate to come out of his lines to make a clearance when needed.

The English sensation has proven himself to be a capable goalkeeper in the English second division. However, the jury is still out on whether he can maintain his lofty standards in Premier League football if West Ham end up acquiring his services on a free transfer in the summer of 2022.

At 28, Johnstone is playing at his prime, so it makes sense for the Hammers to offer him a lucrative contract. He will add a lot of quality to David Moyes‘ starting XI and could serve as an ideal long-term successor to Łukasz Fabiański at the London Stadium. All in all, the talented West Brom star will be an excellent choice for the East London club at the end of this campaign as he might even help bring some success to the Hammers in the coming seasons.

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