Tottenham Hotspur are now the favourites to land Sam Johnstone this summer…
What’s the word?
That’s according to ever-reliable journalist Alasdair Gold, who delivered an exciting transfer claim surrounding the out-of-contract West Brom goalkeeper after Spurs’ 5-1 whitewash of Newcastle United at the weekend.
‘The Italian likes a free transfer and football.london understands that Spurs are currently the favourites to tie up a deal to bring 29-year-old West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to the club in July when his contract ends with the Midlands side,’ he wrote.
‘Johnstone is one of a select group of goalkeepers Tottenham are looking at to provide back-up to Hugo Lloris next season, which suggests that Pierluigi Gollini’s loan from Atalanta will not be made permanent.’
Is signing Johnstone on a free transfer good business for Spurs?
Just as the Lilywhites correspondent suggests, the Italian sporting director loves a freebie and Johnstone would be another masterclass heading into next season.
Some of his bargain additions include Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and Kingsley Coman, none of whom commanded a transfer fee upon arrival at Juventus.
He could look to repeat this masterstroke with the addition of the 29-year-old England international, who can provide healthy competition for club captain, Lloris, if not replace him considering he’ll be 36 halfway through the 2022/23 campaign.
Valued at £7.2m by Transfermarkt and thought to be on wages around £32.5k-per-week, the 6 foot 4 glovesman has maintained his place as the Baggies’ no.1 under Steve Bruce in the Championship, where he has kept 14 clean sheets from 34 appearances.
His form for the struggling Midlands side in the Premier League saw him named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2020 as the third-choice option behind Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale.
No shot-stopper in the Premier League faced more shots on target (168) than Johnstone last season, nor did any option make as many saves either (116) – his average of four saves per 90 far exceeded that of Lloris (2.77), as per FBRef.
Once described as a “diamond” to work with by Bruce, from their time together at Aston Villa, Johnstone would be an astute signing for Spurs to make heading into next season.
Without having to pay a penny, there can’t be many upset by this prospect. It could well be another one of Paratici’s top-class bargains.