New West Bromwich Albion boss Valerien Ismael has admitted that he does not expect Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira to be around next season, as the club seeks instant promotion back to the Premier League. The news was reported by Nick Mashiter of the Independent. Johnstone and Pereira were the standout stars as West Brom failed to light up the Premier League last season.
Valerien Ismael was only appointed as West Brom manager on June 24, but already has a tough challenge on his hands. Johnstone and Pereira have proved to be Premier League quality, and Ismael will not stand in their way if a Premier League club comes knocking at their door. Ismael overachieved with his Barnsley side last season, guiding them into the play-offs; perhaps he feels that he can achieve promotion with West Brom without arguably their two best players?
Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira Expected to Leave West Brom
Where Could Sam Johnstone Go?
It’s often the case that goalkeepers in a relegated side stand out, and that was no different with Sam Johnstone. The 28-year-old made 166 saves in the Premier League last season, more than anybody else. Following injuries to compatriots Dean Henderson and Nick Pope, Johnstone earned a call-up to the England Euro 2020 squad.
Sam Johnstone has been linked with West Ham United and Arsenal, the latter of who are also interested in fellow relegated keeper Aaron Ramsdale. A move to West Ham would make sense, given that Lukasz Fabianski is now 36. Alternatively, Johnstone could be a key player in any of the newly promoted sides.
Where Could Matheus Pereira Go?
Every so often, someone features in a Championship side, who is clearly too good for the league. Matheus Pereira was one of those players, as he scored eight goals, and assisted 20 in the 2019/20 season. The Premier League stage did not faze him, scoring 11 goals, and setting up a further six. For a relegated side, that is a seriously impressive return.
Matheus Pereira should have no shortage of suitors this summer, as honestly, he could walk into several teams’ starting line-ups. Alex Dicken of Birmingham Mail reports that Aston Villa are interested, maybe with the potential sale of Jack Grealish to Manchester City in mind.
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