By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

19th Dec, 2021 | 10:16am

West Brom play 'devil's advocate' with latest Sam Johnstone news - Kevin Phillips

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 suggested West Brom may be playing devil’s advocate over goalkeeper Sam Johnstone ahead of January.

According to a report by the Sun on Sunday in their print edition last week (12 December, page 62), Albion are hoping to sell Johnstone, 28, in the upcoming transfer window in order to avoid losing him for nothing next summer.

However, it is understood that the England goalkeeper is digging in his heels and is opposed to moving on just yet.

West Ham, Tottenham and Southampton are reportedly keen on Johnstone but with Hammers boss David Moyes, he’s willing to wait until the summer to grab the ex-Manchester United shot-stopper so he can do a free transfer.

Phillips isn’t comfortable with West Brom’s reported plan to offload Johnstone in January and is happy to see the ‘keeper stay until the season is over, even if it means him leaving as a free agent.

Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips said: “It’s a gamble if you cash in on him.

If you cash in, he’s been fantastic for them and to get out of that league, you need a top ‘keeper to keep clean sheets and win you football matches. He can do that.

It’d be a big gamble to get rid and bring someone in with the pressure to do that for you.

Maybe it’s them playing mind games or devil’s advocate in terms of wanting to try and get more money. But I, personally, don’t see Johnstone being sold in January.

I see him staying until the summer to help them get promoted. I assume he’ll move on in the summer.”

Johnstone has kept 11 clean sheets in 22 Championship appearances this season and has only conceded 15 goals.

No team has conceded fewer times than the Baggies in the second-tier this season [17].

In other West Brom news, Albion could move to sign this £4million-rated player in the January transfer window.

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