Sam Johnstone has been a revelation this season at Aston Villa and Steve Bruce would be mad to let him go.
Playing every minute up until the last game of the season, the on-loan Manchester United keeper recorded 20 clean sheets and conceded just 41 goals across the 45 games. It was the second highest tally in the league, only behind Wolves stopper John Ruddy.
While credit must go to James Chester and John Terry, Johnstone’s shot stopping and command of his box was integral to the creation of one of the league’s meanest defences. Despite these performances, there is no chance that the 25-year old will be able to force his way into the Manchester United set-up given the names ahead of him.
A move to Aston Villa would guarantee him a number one jersey at a club that he feels established at and comfortable in. Such a move should happen regardless of whether Aston Villa make it through the play-offs. Johnstone’s performances this season have suggested that he is ready to make the step up to the Premier League.
On the other hand, Steve Bruce will desperately want his services if they are forced to make another bid for top flight football. It is unlikely that Manchester United will resist selling him too much and, consequently, Villa could well pick up a crucial player for an absolute bargain.