Ex-West Bromwich Albion midfielder Carlton Palmer believes the signing of former Barnsley loanee Daryl Dike could be a possibility if the Baggies sell Sam Johnstone this summer, speaking to The Transfer Tavern.
28-year-old Johnstone has been linked with a move away from The Hawthorns this summer following the Baggies relegation, with the shot-stopper only having less than 12 months left on his current deal and impressing domestically and internationally in the past year.
His exceptional performances between the sticks for the West Midlands side throughout the 2020/21 Premier League campaign drew the attention of the Three Lions – and with Burnley’s Nick Pope being ruled out of the European Championships with an injury – Johnstone was called up to the provisional England squad at the end of May.
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In their final friendly before the tournament began, the goalkeeper made a fine debut against Romania and made the final cut ahead of Aaron Ramsdale as Gareth Southgate whittled his squad down to 26.
He may not have played a single minute in the Euros – but he impressed England coaches in training according to the Daily Mail and effectively became Jordan Pickford’s understudy as they reached the final.
David Moyes’ side have since recruited Paris St-Germain’s Alphonse Areola – but with Johnstone yet to sign a new deal after entering contract negotiations with the Baggies – his future remains uncertain.
And former West Brom man Carlton Palmer believes the money generated from his potential sale could open the door for manager Valerien Ismael’s reunion with 21-year-old forward Daryl Dike, with the duo having spent the second half of last season together at Barnsley.
In an interview with The Transfer Tavern, Palmer said: “He (Dike) did really well at Barnsley and played really well for Ismael but a lot of things will depend on whether Sam goes.
“If he goes then I’m sure they’ll give him funds to reinvest. If Sam doesn’t go, they’re on a tight budget.”
With the money generated from Matheus Pereira’s sale to Al-Hilal, a decent amount of money for Ismael to utilise should already be there and if they also let go of Johnstone, the signing of Dike really does become a possibility with the 28-year-old potentially leaving for an eight-figure fee.
In terms of the Orlando City striker more specifically, he would be an exceptional signing if they were to get that over the line, with the United States international scoring nine goals in 19 Championship appearances for the Tykes under the Baggies’ current boss and playing a big part in their rise up the table last season.
Callum Robinson is proving to be a great asset to have in attack, scoring three goals in three Championship games so far in 2021/22, but they were playing Matt Phillips up top at one point in pre-season and this just shows the need for another forward to come in.
Kenneth Zahore’s future at The Hawthorns remains unclear despite being brought back into the first team this term – and they need a poacher to step up to the plate when the goals start to dry up in other areas of the pitch.
It’s great to see the likes of Alex Mowatt and Dara O’Shea getting in and amongst the goals – but a main goalscorer would be preferable and could go a long way in ensuring they secure automatic promotion at the end of the campaign.