This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Rangers have joined the race for West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, according to TEAMtalk.
The Ibrox outfit are said to be considering a move for him as they could agree a pre-contract next month, though they face competition as Newcastle United, Tottenham, and West Ham United are all keen.
But would it be a good signing? And is a move that he’d consider?
We quizzed our FLW writers…
This would be a fantastic signing by Rangers as Sam Johnstone has illustrated that he is more than capable of delivering the goods at the highest level during his time at West Brom.
The goalkeeper made the most saves in the Premier League last season and has featured on several occasions for England this year.
With his deal at West Brom set to expire next summer, Rangers may be able to secure his services on a pre-contract which would be a superb bit of business by the club.
Although a move to the Premier League could be tempting with Johnstone, Rangers should be able to offer him the chance to play in Europe in the 2022/23 campaign as they are currently leading the way in the Scottish Premiership.
It’s really hard to see this one happening.
Obviously, Rangers are a massive club and if they win the league this season they will be able to offer Champions League football, so the appeal is there. However, Johnstone will have his sights on staying in the England squad and he will need to be playing regularly in the Premier League to do that. It’s the most competitive league in the world and will give him the platform to impress Gareth Southgate on a weekly basis.
As well as that, as a free agent he should be able to command a hefty wage and it’s hard to imagine Rangers will be able to match what some other clubs put up.
So, there are too many factors that make this a non-starter for me. I expect Johnstone to remain in England and I suspect he will have his pick of clubs if he runs his deal down because whoever gets him on a free will be making an astute signing.
Can you name which club West Brom sold these 26 players to?
From a Rangers perspective, this signing would be nothing short of a major coup. Establishing himself as one of England’s finest goalkeepers, he would have no trouble adjusting to life at Ibrox and the pressure that would come with it.
Indeed, he has been involved in his own battle at the top end of a table with West Brom this season, so to recruit him for a cut-price deal or for free in the summer would be an amazing deal.
And it would be a brilliant acquisition if Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men can win the race ahead of the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and others.
Unfortunately, I can’t see it happening in a million years. Going to the Scottish Premiership would be illogical at this stage, and Johnstone should look at Ryan Christie at Bournemouth as a reason why he shouldn’t move north of the border.
Christie had hit his ceiling in the Scottish top tier and Johnstone deserves to be playing in the Premier League, so this is a move for him to reject.