Noel Whelan expects Sam Johnstone to be “gutted” after missing out on a move to West Ham United.
Johnstone is attracting plenty of interest from the Premier League following West Brom’s relegation from the top-flight last term.
The goalkeeper kept six clean sheets in 37 Premier League outings for the Baggies last season, and has been linked with the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and West Ham this summer.
Johnstone was filmed back in pre-season training wearing a big smile on his face yesterday, but Noel Whelan believes that inside, the goalkeeper will be gutted.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “West Brom will be kicking themselves. Sam Johnstone will be absolutely gutted about the move not materialising.
“I think West Ham have done the right thing. You can’t be held to ransom over players, he’s a player that is out of contract next year. He can start talking to foreign clubs in January.
“Not great business there by West Brom. They could end up having a player that is very upset. He would have wanted it so badly, playing in Europe as well. He has missed that opportunity.
“You look at West Brom and think: ‘You might have missed a trick here.
They’ve priced a very good goalkeeper out of move to Europe. He’ll have wanted to play in these competitions.
“Maybe you’re gonna have a disgruntled player on your hands now, that he is very upset this has not gone through.”
Quiz: What was the score the last time West Brom played at each of these 24 stadiums?
Johnstone will now focus on building up his fitness after recently returning from Euro 2020 international duty, as the Baggies prepare to take on Bournemouth on Friday.
It does look as if Johnstone’s chances of joining a Premier League club are decreasing now.
West Ham have obviously gone out and signed Areola, whilst Arsenal remain in pursuit of Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale.
Perhaps Johnstone’s best chance of returning to the top-flight will be with West Brom after all. I expect him to be a key player for Valerien Ismael’s side if he stays this term, and they do look like favourites to be right up there come the end of the season.