A deal could finally be on the horizon to send Sam Johnstone out of West Brom and to Crystal Palace, with Birmingham World reporting that a deal is close that would see the player jump up to the Premier League.
Johnstone has stayed with the Baggies even though they were demoted back down to the Championship and featured in 36 league games for the side, as they struggled to get back into the promotion hunt.
However, the goalkeeper was exiled from the squad under Valerien Ismael and met a similar fate under current boss Steve Bruce. A new deal then looked unlikely with his current contract set to run out this summer and the player will now depart the Hawthorns during the offseason.
Quiz: Can you name which club West Brom sold these 23 players to from the last decade?
Crystal Palace now look like the side most likely to give the former Man United man a chance again in the Premier League and the Eagles will no doubt be delighted to add the 29-year-old to their ranks on a free from West Brom.
He’s played in the top flight in the past for the Baggies and looked sharp, putting himself in the frame for a few international appearances in the process. However, he’s only ever had one season in the Premier League and will no doubt jump at the chance to have more opportunities in the top tier of English football.
Now, he looks likely to get that chance under Patrick Vieira and could find himself playing regularly in the Premier League again sooner rather than later.
Sam Johnstone has arguably been desperate to get back into the Premier League since last summer and it’s led to a bit of an inconsistent season from the usually reliable shot-stopper.
He managed plenty of solid showings during his time in the top flight with West Brom and has been excellent in the past with Aston Villa and Preston in the Championship and League One too. This campaign has marked the first where he hasn’t been entirely up to scratch – but that could be because his focus was elsewhere and his future was unclear.
Now, it looks like his future will finally be sorted out and it should allow him to focus on playing and getting back to his best again. Playing in the top flight again will also allow him to potentially get back into the England picture.
That is exactly what the goalkeeper will want – and now that opportunity looks likely to be presented to him by Palace.