There aren’t many English players more sought after this summer than Sam Johnstone. Having left relegated West Bromwich Albion upon the expiration of his contract, he has a new club. The England international goalkeeper has signed for Crystal Palace.
SJ x Palace: ✅ #CPFC pic.twitter.com/M8TzoTP2Kt
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) July 1, 2022
England International Goalkeeper is Back in the Premier League
Will Sam Johnstone be the Number One at Selhurst Park?
The goalkeeper position is of course unique in that there is only room for one regular starter. Crystal Palace have a few quality shot-stoppers in place already. Wayne Hennessey is ageing out but Vicente Guaita and Jack Butland are both very competent.
Along with Butland, another England international goalkeeper, in the form of Sam Johnstone, is under the stewardship of Patrick Vieira. It was a scintillating first season for the Frenchman in London, playing exciting football and focusing on the development of youth. Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell and Michael Olise are just a few of the young players to benefit from this.
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Guehi and Mitchell have both broken into Gareth Southgate’s plans and we could see Johnstone return as an England international goalkeeper following this move. He has signed a four-year deal at Selhurst Park, putting him in a stronger position to challenge Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope for a coveted spot in the national team set-up. Johnstone could even earn a place at the Qatar World Cup later this year.
Who Else Was Pursuing the England International Goalkeeper?
As previously mentioned, Johnstone was subject to huge interest from a number of Premier League clubs. On a free, it isn’t hard to see why. Other clubs that pursued him but ultimately failed included Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham.
Read More: West Bromwich Albion Reject Sam Johnstone Bid from West Ham United
Dean Henderson is on his way out of Old Trafford and so Johnstone’s links to a return to the Red Devils made sense. The London duo made even more sense though with Hugo Lloris reaching the latter stages of his career whilst the Irons haven’t excelled in that position for a while.
The England international goalkeeper is a great coup for Vieira and despite being 29 now, he has a lot of good years ahead of him still.