Tying Sam Johnstone down to a new contract would be a “big coup” for West Bromwich Albion, according to former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
The 28-year-old won Albion’s Player of the Year in 2020/21 for his heroics between the sticks and was linked with a move back to the Premier League this summer following the Baggies’ relegation but with the transfer window set to close tomorrow, it seems likely he will remain at the Hawthorns.
After missing the Championship opener, Johnstone has become a key figure under Valerien Ismael and helped the new boss make an unbeaten start to life at the West Midlands club.
The keeper is out of contract next summer but Ismael revealed earlier this month that talks were underway with the player’s representatives over a new deal.
Speaking to Football Insider, Robinson has suggested such an agreement would be massive for Albion and could be beneficial for Johnstone as well.
He explained: “It would be a big coup if they were able to keep him.
“Their team is arguably the strongest in the Championship.
“They’ve started the season really well and I think it’s had a big impact on Sam Johnstone. I think he is seeing what the new manager is doing and is thinking, ‘We are going back to the Premier League here.’
“It might not be a bad thing for him having one season in the Championship.
“It would be great for West Brom if they can tie him down. I think it would also be good for Johnstone because he could be part of a Championship-winning side.”
The Athletic has reported previously that Johnstone’s new deal is likely to include a release clause that would come into effect next summer if West Brom are not promoted to the Premier League.
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Robinson is not wrong, tying Johnstone down to a new deal would be a fantastic bit of business for the Baggies.
He was brilliant in the Premier League last season and it’s a surprise that he hasn’t returned to the division this summer, though you feel that’s more a reflection of the options top-flight clubs have rather than his quality.
There is a strong argument to be made that Johnstone is the best goalkeeper in the Championship and having him will be a massive boost to Ismael’s hopes of promotion this term.
A new deal should mean that if they do return to the Premier League, the 28-year-old will still be with them as they look to extend their stay beyond just one season this time.
You feel talks over a new contract are likely to progress more quickly once the transfer window is shut.