Sam Johnstone is set to stay with Aston Villa for another season on loan according to reports today.
The Birmingham Mail are reporting that the 24-year-old will return to Aston Villa on loan after Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho gave Steve Bruce the green light to re-sign the goalkeeper.
Johnstone initially signed on a 6-month loan deal in January 2017 when Villa allowed Italian goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini to join Serie A side Atalanta on an 18-month loan deal.
The Manchester United keeper struggled at first when he joined Aston Villa but once settled he looked comfortable and helped Aston Villa to turn around their season a little.
In 21 appearances Johnstone managed 8 clean sheets according to Squawka. He averages 1.90 saves per game but concedes 1.14 goals per game.
With the recent news that Steve Bruce will have to generate money from his own transfer sales (although unconfirmed by anyone at the club) it will be a huge boost for the Villa boss to secure Johnstone on a loan deal and so early in the summer.
If this news about Johnstone is true and that deal is made permanent who will be Aston Villa’s second-choice goalkeeper next season?
As already stated Gollini is only six months into an eighteen-month loan deal at Atalanta and there have been reports in Italy recently that they will look to secure the permanent signing of the 22-year-old goalkeeper but either way he won’t be an option for us next season.
Former Norwich player, Mark Bunn is out of contract this summer and there has been no hint of what will happen with the 32-year old this summer. Going by his teammate’s social media accounts he seems a big character in the dressing room at Villa Park and this could be something that works to his advantage as he bids to get a new deal. Saying that, does Bunn want to sign a new deal or does he want to look elsewhere for first team football?
Jed Steer is another keeper who is currently at the club and is contracted until 2019. Another player who used to play for Norwich but hasn’t made a stake for a place in the first team. Will Bruce look to cash in on the 24-year-old or use him as his number 2?
I am not convinced by Steer myself and would look to move him on if anyone was interested.
I think Bruce should look at the free market if he doesn’t keep hold of Bunn. I feel someone with some experience who can help Johnstone with his ups and downs in the season that he will no doubt have.