Southampton supporters have been very despondent in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team slip closer towards Premier League relegation courtesy of a 3-2 defeat at home to Chelsea on Saturday.
Mark Hughes’ men went into their encounter with the West London outfit three points adrift of safety, yet knowing that victory in the early kick-off would take them out of the danger zone, if only for a few hours at least. And they looked on course for all three points when goals from Dusan Tadic and Jan Bednarek gave them a 2-0 lead, only for a brace from Olivier Giroud as well as an Eden Hazard strike to secure a vital victory for Antonio Conte’s Blues as they seek to keep the pressure on the division’s top four.
As such, there have been many disappointed Southampton fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping that their team can bounce back from Saturday’s defeat when they travel to Leicester City on Thursday night.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Saints supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking their side with a move for Sheffield Wednesday shot-stopper Keiren Westwood.
And while the 33-year-old would likely be a fine addition at St Mary’s, they should forget about a move for the Irishman and instead seek to land Aston Villa’s £2.25 million-rated goalkeeping star Sam Johnstone (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, there is much uncertainty surrounding the goalkeeping ranks at St Mary’s, what with number one Fraser Forster enduring a miserable first half of the season, to the point that he was dropped by former manager Mauricio Pellegrino back in December.
Alex McCarthy has since donned the gloves and performed reasonably well, although there are concerns over his long-term capabilities between the sticks after several seasons of being a number two.
And with reports suggesting that the South Coast club are considering getting rid of Forster this summer, they will need to bolster their goalkeeping ranks and ideally land a new number one. And Johnstone could be that man.
The 25-year-old’s stock has risen immeasurably this season given his mightily impressive efforts for Steve Bruce’s Villa, with the Manchester United shot-stopper having kept 19 clean sheets in just 43 Championship appearances so far, conceding just 40 goals along the way.
And after performing reasonably well for the Villans in the second half of last season, it’s clear that the Englishman has developed as a goalkeeper in the last 12 months or so, and very much looks to be a solid and dependable option between the sticks.
And that is exactly what Southampton will be looking for this summer.
Johnstone is currently on the books at United and signed a new contract with the Red Devils earlier this term, thus making it difficult for Villa to land him permanently this summer given they reportedly want £6.5 million for the 25-year-old.
Southampton may be in a better position to pay that asking price this summer though, and while Westwood would likely be a good addition, he is eight years older than Johnstone, and as such they would surely be better served spending more on a long-term investment in the Villa goalkeeper.
Thus, Hughes’ side must forget about Wednesday’s Westwood and instead seek to lure 25-year-old Johnstone to St Mary’s this summer.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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