West Brom don’t have too many players who are within a chance of playing for their countries at the European Championships this summer.
Okay Yokuslu perhaps has the best chance but the Turkey international is only on loan at The Hawthorns and is unlikely to stay next season if we do not avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Hal Robson-Kanu has a decent chance with Wales but his lack of game-time this season could impact his hopes of getting into Ryan Giggs’ squad but two players who are up for debate are Kamil Grosicki and Sam Johnstone.
Many would have assumed at the start of the season that Grosicki, 32, was nailed on for a spot in the Poland squad.
The winger, capped 80 times by his country, played in all but one of Poland’s qualifiers.
However, Polish FA chief Zbigniew Boniek has warned that players like Grosicki, who aren’t getting regular game-time at their clubs, might not get into the final squad.
As quoted by the Express & Star last month, Boniek said: “Kamil does not play and it saddens me, because this is how the team for 2020/21 moves away from the project.
“Grosiki is a symbol of the staff in the last six to eight years.
“But the representation must include players who are in shape and who play every day.”
Grosicki was strongly linked with a move away from West Brom last month when Nottingham Forest, Saudi outfit Damac FC and Polish sides Pogon Szczecin and Legia Warsaw came calling for the ex-Hull winger.
However, after the Polish transfer window closed, Grosicki confirmed he’d be staying at The Hawthorns and seeing out the rest of his contract, which expires at the end of the season.
Grosicki is also aiming to ensure he’s in the Poland squad this summer as they gear up for group stage matches against Spain, Sweden and Slovakia.
He said: “One of the most important decisions in my career is behind me. I stay in the WBA and fight for the first squad, play in the Premier League and play in the Polish National Team. The situation is not easy, but I never crack and never give up.”
Za mną jedna z najważniejszych decyzji w karierze. Zostaję w WBA i walczę o pierwszy skład oraz grę w Premier League i grę w Reprezentacji Polski .Sytuacja nie jest łatwa ,ale ja nigdy nie pękam i nigdy się nie poddaje . #nevergiveup
— Kamil Grosicki (@GrosickiKamil) February 25, 2021
Grosicki’s dream of playing at the European Championships with Poland could be in tatters though with him nowhere near Sam Allardyce’s first-team squad at West Brom.
Despite impressing in the three appearances that put him in the shop window in January, the Albion winger has been left out of Big Sam’s last seven matchday squads in the Premier League.
Grosicki faces an uphill battle to get into the Poland team and while things are looking bleak for him, they could be quite promising for goalkeeper Johnstone.
The 27-year-old may have conceded more goals than any other shot-stopper in the league but no player has dazzled as often as him in the Premier League.
Johnstone’s made 25 league appearances this term, conceding 53 goals keeping four clean sheets in the process.
While that’s a staggering number of goals go concede, the sheer quantity of shots he’s faced cannot be put down to him and instead, it’s the number of saves and quality of those saves that should be taken into account.
According to stats by Wyscout, Johnstone leads the way in the Premier League for saves , with 58.41 per cent of them relying on his reflexes. Only six goalkeepers have a better reflex percentage in the top-flight.
It’s always hard to use stats to describe how well a goalkeeper has performed because they don’t necessarily take into account the quality of the shots aimed at him and how well he’s done to stop them going into the back of the net.
But if you look at saves Johnstone’s made against Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City this season, you understand why he should be in contention for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
England’s goalkeeping options are not the best.
Jordan Pickford has struggled at Everton this season while Dean Henderson is barely getting a game at Manchester United.
Nick Pope, in our opinion, should be England’s number one but the second and third spots should be up for grabs based on Pickford’s form and Henderson’s lack of game-time.
There’s an opportunity for Johnstone but he does face competition from the likes of Karl Darlow, Alex McCarthy and Tom Heaton. But, again, those goalkeepers have conceded a lot of goals this season too or haven’t been playing.
We fully expect Southgate to pick Pope, Pickford and Henderson but Johnstone’s form in the Premier League means he should be at least among the discussion to earn his first senior cap for the Three Lions.
In other West Brom news, this youngster has been tipped to “take the league by storm” if the Albion sign him in the summer.