By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

24th Jul, 2021 | 11:10am

Kevin Phillips reacts as Arsenal eye Ramsdale over West Brom star Johnstone

We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…

Kevin Phillips has tried to explain why Arsenal are opting to make a £30million move for Aaron Ramsdale when they could be getting West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for less.

Earlier this week, talkSPORT reported that the Gunners have decided to pursue the Sheffield United shot-stopper, making him their top goalkeeper target ahead of Johnstone.

The 28-year-old England international is in the final year of his contract at The Hawthorns, leading to The Athletic reporting that he could be sold for just £12million this summer.

West Brom initially wanted £20million but due to an urgency to sell the ex-Manchester United goalkeeper, demands have been lowered.

Phillips is a fan of both Johnstone and Ramsdale and he feels as though Arsenal have a couple of decent reasons to want to spend over double on the Blades ace.

Speaking to West Brom News, Super Kev said: “There’ll be reasoning behind it.

They’re both good goalkeepers but you’d think they would get Sam Johnstone for a lot cheaper.

Sam’s four years older so that’s probably one of the reasons, it could be to do with resale value. Are you going to get back that money for Johnstone?

In terms of actual quality, they’re both excellent goalkeepers. From what I’ve seen in the last season, I think Johnstone would be a safe bet for Arsenal. But I can see why they’d go for Ramsdale because of the age gap.

“[Mikel] Arteta wants to play out from the back and a lot of teams now want goalkeepers who are comfortable on the ball. Johnstone’s not too bad and he gets a bit of harsh criticism in terms of that but he’s certainly improved.

With Ben White going there, they probably do want to play out from the back and that could be another reason.”

Johnstone made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League last season before earning a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championships.

He earned his debut England cap prior to the tournament in a friendly win over Romania, in which the Albion ‘keeper pulled off a stunning save to keep a clean sheet.

In other West Brom news, Joseph Masi has shared an update on Conor Hourihane after he was linked with the Albion.

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