Sam Johnstone should not play for West Brom again this season in order to prepare for his inevitable exit, according to reliable journalist Steve Madeley.
The Lowdown: Johnstone set to leave WBA?
The 29-year-old stayed put at the Baggies last summer despite their relegation to the Championship and he has continued to be a key figure in 2021/22, making 36 league appearances.
There does seem to be a potential inevitability about Johnstone moving on, though, with Albion’s promotion hopes effectively over for this season and his contract expiring in June.
The goalkeeper has been strongly linked with a move away in recent months, having been hailed as a ‘wonderful’ player by Micah Richards in the past and winning the WBA Supporters’ Player of the Year award in 2021.
Will Johnstone leave West Brom?
The Latest: Madeley makes big Johnstone claim
Taking to Twitter on Monday as he shared a corresponding article from The Athletic, Madeley claimed that Johnstone should not play for the rest of the season, allowing West Brom to transition and prepare for life without him next term. He claimed:
“Sam Johnstone’s status as a successful Albion player is secure but he should not play again this season – there is no point.”
The Verdict: There’s sense to it
With the Baggies completely out of the promotion picture and with little to play for in the remaining weeks, Madeley’s suggestion does make sense in many ways.
It would give Bruce an opportunity to use others in the role, with those of a West Brom persuasion knowing what Johnstone can offer and also realising that he is coming to the end of his time at the Hawthorns.
In truth, the hope is that a high-quality replacement comes in, given the 29-year-old’s aforementioned influence, but giving David Button a chance to prove himself over the next few weeks shouldn’t do any harm for the time being.
In other news, West Brom reportedly face competition for one player. Find out who it is here.
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