Kevin Phillips: West Brom may have Sam Johnstone agreement in place
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…
Sam Johnstone may have already reached an agreement with West Brom to be allowed to leave next year if promotion isn’t won, according to Kevin Phillips.
Johnstone’s contract at The Hawthorns expires at the end of the season and once the January transfer window opens, he’ll be open for pre-contract offers from outside of England.
He’s also been linked with a move to the Premier League with the Express & Star reporting that Southampton are interested in the 28-year-old England goalkeeper.
Johnstone’s contract situation is a concern as it means that a really impressive goalkeeper could leave the Baggies for a very small transfer fee or, even worse, on a free in 2022.
However, Phillips feels that something may have already been agreed behind the scenes at The Hawthorns for Johnstone to stay on if they’re promoted or leave if they are forced to spend a second consecutive season in the Championship.
Speaking to West Brom News when asked if Johnstone may have to leave The Hawthorns in order to make the England squad at the World Cup next year, Phillips said: “Not necessarily because he’s playing for his country now and West Brom are in the Championship.
“Gareth Southgate’s proven he’s not scared to pick Championship players but I think perhaps from the player’s point of view, he’s shown great loyalty and could have pushed for a move in the summer.
“He didn’t and he decided to stay, give them another year of his services.
“Maybe there has been an agreement that if they don’t go up, then there may have been hands shaken for him to go to the Premier League.
“From his point of view, it’s a natural thing.
“I sincerely hope West Brom are promotion and he’s playing in the Premier League with them next year.”
In other West Brom news, this never-before-seen starlet was spotted in training before the Blues game.