West Brom supporters in the Transfer Tavern are somewhat looking forward to the 2018/19 Championship campaign following the appointment of Darren Moore as the club’s permanent manager last month.
The former centre-back took over at the Hawthorns on a temporary basis back in April following the sacking of Alan Pardew, and was tasked with trying to prevent the Baggies’ descent into the second tier. And while the 44-year-old led his side to three wins and two draws in his six matches at the helm, it wasn’t enough to keep the Midlands outfit in the Premier League, with the club eventually finishing bottom with 31 points from their 38 games.
Nonetheless, there are many excited and expectant West Brom fans in the Tavern given how well Moore galvanised the club last season, although they are unlikely to be overly thrilled by recent reports linking goalkeeper Ben Foster with a move away this summer.
As such, the Baggies must be thinking about a possible replacement for the linked-away star, and they should look no further than fellow Englishman Sam Johnstone, who is valued at £2.25 million by Transfermarkt.
Ultimately, 35-year-old Foster has been an outstanding servant to the Midlands outfit ever since he made the move to the Hawthorns on loan back in 2011, with his efforts that term in helping keep the Baggies in the Premier League earning him a permanent move a year later.
And the eight-times England international has since then gone from strength to strength and comfortably retained the number one jersey at West Brom, with it arguable that Foster was one of select few players that can hold their head high despite a disastrous campaign last term.
And given his undoubted Premier League quality, there is little doubting that the 35-year-old would do a fine job in the Championship, which is why they have to be ready to replace him if Watford do indeed firm up their reported interest with a move this summer.
And Manchester United’s Johnstone appears to be the ideal replacement after enjoying a fine season at Midlands rivals Aston Villa, with the 25-year-old keeping 22 clean sheets and shipping just 42 goals in 48 Championship appearances for the Villans, helping them reach the play-off final.
Clearly, the former England youth international is a hugely adept goalkeeper at Championship level and looks set to go on to bigger and better things, and given Villa are struggling financially and United agreed a new deal with Johnstone earlier this year, it’s unlikely that Steve Bruce’s men will be able to land him again this summer.
Whereas if Watford do indeed splash out £10 million on 35-year-old Foster, Moore would have the funds to replace the Englishman, and he should do just that by bringing the impressive Johnstone to the Hawthorns ready for the 2018/19 Championship season.
West Brom fans… what do you think? Let us know!