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Former West Brom player delivers verdict on Albion transfer decision

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Former West Bromwich Albion midfielder Carlton Palmer has criticised the club’s decision not to cash in on goalkeeper Sam Johnstone prior to the expiration of his contract this summer, speaking to Give Me Sport.

The 29-year-old has been the subject of intense interest from several Premier League sides over the past 12 months, with Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham United all being linked with a move for the shot-stopper last summer.

However, it was only West Ham that were reported to have made a formal move for his services, launching a £6m bid in their quest to lure him to the London Stadium, an offer that was rejected by officials at The Hawthorns who had seen the England international shine in the top tier last season.

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St.Andrews (Birmingham City)

The Hammers didn’t follow up that initial bid though with David Moyes’ side recruiting Alphonse Areola instead – and though previous Baggies boss Valerien Ismael was resigned to losing Johnstone – the Frenchman managed to retain him beyond the summer.

Further interest in his services came after the window closed with Newcastle United, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur all thought to have been monitoring his situation in the West Midlands.

However, a January move didn’t materialise and with the 29-year-old unlikely to sign fresh terms at his current side between now and the end of this term, he looks set to depart The Hawthorns for free.

This is to the dismay of ex-England international Palmer, who said: “They’re going to lose Sam Johnstone on a free, which is crazy business.

“Why not let Sam Johnstone go last season if you’re not going to get him to sign a new contract?

“Why not let him go and get £10m-£12m for him rather than let him go on a free, it’s just crazy.”

The Verdict:

With 12 months on his contract, getting £10m-£12m for him would have been some achievement and Albion may have needed to set their price tag even lower if they had wanted to offload him.

Unfortunately though, it didn’t seem as though an offer big enough came in and this is where you can feel sorry for the second-tier side because they probably would have been willing to cash in on him.

Matheus Pereira may have seemingly pushed for a move away last year – but the fact the Brazilian was sold just goes to show that they were willing to sell at the right price.

If they had managed to get a bid of around £8m or higher, they should have cashed in without any hesitation because there was no guarantee that the Baggies were going to get back to the top tier at the first time of asking.

Even if they had, there were no guarantees that he was going to sign an extension considering the interest from elsewhere in his signature. And in hindsight, perhaps they should have accepted the £6m bid last summer in their quest to abide by the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Former West Brom player delivers verdict on Albion transfer decision

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