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Goalkeeper Left Out Of Squad Amid Southampton Interest
Thursday, 27th Jan 2022 11:32

Saints have been linked with West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for a while, but the rumour mill is turning around after the keeper did not return to the squad after a 3 match ban yesterday evening.

Sam Johnstone has been missing from the West Brom squad due to a 3 match ban previous to the Baggies home game with Preston on Wednesday evening and was widely expected to return between the sticks for this fixture.

Johnstone did not appear though, not even on the bench with the rumour mill rampant at the Hawthorns that the club have decided to cash in on the keeper in the January transfer window rather than let him leave on a free transfer in the summer.

Both Saints and West Ham United have been linked with him in the past.

The Baggies lost 2-0 against Preston and the crowd turned on West Brom head coach Valerien Ismael who lashed out at his keeper in what was frustration in the post match press conference.

“We had a matter, an issue in the squad and have solved the problem,”

“He was not in the squad tonight and he will not be in the squad on Saturday but after that he will be involved. It will stay internal.”

Clearly there are issues although Ismael stopped short of saying they were transfer linked.

Johnstone has recently been quoted as saying

“I see the transfer speculation and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s out of my control but I want to be back playing in the Premier League.”

But things are clearly not cordial in the West Brom camp and it is also unclear whether the board are willing to sanction a move now or decide to lose him for nothing in the summer.

From a Saints perspective, before the new owners arrived there was perhaps a cash flow issue in bringing in a new keeper in January, Fraser Forster & Alex McCarthy are on around £140,000 a week between them with Forster earning the lions share.

Prior to Sports Republic's arrival paying those wages and bringing in a new man was not an option, but now it might be as Martin Semmens alluded to when referring to the benefit of Sports Republic coming in, "It enables us to get things done quicker"

Saints might have been forced to wait till the summer for Johnstone from a financial viewpoint, now they can afford to get the deal done.

But either way Saints now have options and that option was extended with the displays of Fraser Forster since his return to the Saints goal.

There are only a few days left before the transfer window closes, but as we all know the final days are when the deals get done.

Photo: Action Images

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mgprobert added 11:52 - Jan 27
unless he's on his way to Newcastle for £40m?

underweststand added 12:00 - Jan 27
Haven't I read this storyline a dozen times before?...
Look forward to seeing his interview on the Saints site in the near future , but I won't be holding my breath.

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