With the season climax close by, London club Tottenham Hotspur are already looking towards the new season. Tottenham Hotspur have been in underwhelming form for the past few seasons, and have not finished in the top 4 of the Premier League since the 2018-19 season, back when Mauricio Pochettino was their manager. However, with a brilliant manager in Antonio Conte at the helm now, Spurs are looking to back the Italian with whatever he needs in the transfer market and have already started to shortlist targets.
One such name that has cropped up is of England and West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone. The 29-year-old’s contract with the Baggies is set to expire at the end of the season, and Spurs are looking to jump at the chance and sign the keeper on a pre-contract. Tottenham Hotspur have France National Team captain and World Cup winner Hugo Lloris as their starting keeper currently, with the Frenchman having a contract for two more years with the club.
However, it seems Lloris could leave the club at the end of his contract, and Antonio Conte has sought to address the issue of a Lloris-less future early on. Sam Johnstone is a highly rated goalkeeper, with his performances in the Premier League last season catching many top clubs’ eyes. The Englishman has kept his options open for the future for now, turning down a contract extension with West Brom, and if the rumours are true, might be on his way to play for Tottenham Hotspur in their multi-billion dollar stadium.
Tottenham currently also have Argentinian goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini on their books, on loan from Italian club Atalanta. However, Conte has not been impressed by his displays and the 27-year-old is set to return back to Italy come to the end of the season. As a result, Spurs will have a spot open for a goalkeeper and signing Johnstone, who has experience of Premier League and English football in general would be a smart move.
Johnstone is a former Manchester United academy graduate but failed to make a single appearance for the senior side, instead of spending most of his 7 years with the club on loan to various lower league clubs. He signed for West Bromwich Albion for an initial transfer fee of £6.5 million in 2018, and has been an integral part of the squad ever since. He helped the Baggies to promotion from the Championship to the Premier League in 2020, and was the starting goalkeeper for the entirety of the 2020-21 season. In that season he produced some brilliant performances and pulled out some world-class saves that earned him praise from critics.
His performances helped him seal a place in the England Euro squad that were runners up in 2021, although he did not make an appearance in the tournament. Since then Johnstone has been a regular member of the England squad and has earned 3 caps for the Three Lions. Signing Johnstone now would be a very good piece of business by Spurs, with the Englishman capable of serving as a backup to Lloris and stepping in whenever needed. Still only 29, the Preston-born keeper can be the Spurs’ number 1 after Lloris and he has proven that he is capable of filling the shoes.
There is a race for the goalkeeper, however, with Newcastle United and West Ham United also very keen in bringing Johnstone to the Premier League. With rules stating that a player cannot enter into negotiations with another Premier League club until the final month of their contract, it seems we will have to wait a while for Johnstone’s decision.