Joseph Masi: Very unlikely that Sam Johnstone will leave West Brom in January
West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is very unlikely to leave the club in January, according to Joseph Masi.
The England international has been linked with a move away from the Hawthorns, with Calciomercato claiming that Newcastle United want to sign him in the new year.
Johnstone’s contract at Albion runs out next summer (2022) so it is expected that his future lies away from the club.
Appearing on the Express & Star’s Baggies Broadcast podcast this week (6th December), Masi was asked about the chances of the 28-year-old leaving in January.
“The odds are very, very low,” he said. “Clubs can get him for £5m in January, but they’ll know they can get him for free in the summer.
“I don’t think Sam is against staying at Albion in any way. He loves the club. If Albion are in the Premier League, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him sign a new deal that would probably have a release clause if they got relegated.
“There’s so many advantages for Sam to wait until the summer. More clubs will want him, he’ll get a big signing on fee, he’ll definitely get a Premier League move.
“He knows he needs to be in the Premier League. But there’s no guarantee that if he went to Newcastle [in January] that he’d be in the Premier League next year.”
Decision to make
It was a surprise to see Johnstone stay at Albion in the summer, so there will certainly be plenty of interest in him in January.
He has proved that he is too good for the Championship and he ranks second in the division for clean sheets this season.
To get in England’s 2022 World Cup squad, the goalkeeper will almost certainly need to be playing in the Premier League and in an ideal world that would be with West Brom if the Baggies can win promotion in May.
That may encourage him to stay at the Hawthorns until the end of the season, as the interest in him is not going to disappear.
However, if Albion’s resolve is tested in January and a top flight team does offer £5m for Johnstone, the club may be tempted to sell in order to get a fee for him.
In other West Brom news, Chris Lepkowski has compared one Albion youngster to Ali Dia.