There have been a few reports doing the rounds over the weekend that Aston Villa will do what they can do sign Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone on a permanent deal.
I have three words to Steve Bruce and the board: Sign him up!
The 24-year-old goalkeeper first joined Villa on loan last January and despite a few dodgy moments in his first couple of games the loan spell proved to be a success for both player and club.
In fact, during his spell with Villa, he kept more clean sheets in the Championship than any other goalkeeper.
Despite returning to Manchester United in the summer he rejoined Villa for the full season and so far Johnstone has carried on with his impressive form with fans calling for him to be signed up on a permanent deal.
Steve Bruce has been quoted as saying: “We will do everything in our power.
“He’s got another year left on his United deal but he’s going to find it difficult to break through there because of what they’ve got. Players like that need to find a platform.”
Johnstone has kept five clean sheets in his thirteen appearances so far this season. Only four other keepers have kept more. Chris Maxwell (Preston), John Ruddy (Wolves) and Felix Wiedwald (Leeds) have six, while Angus Gunn (Norwich) has an impressive seven.
His shot stopping is second to none as he proved in the game against Fulham this weekend. It was quite possibly one of the best reflex saves I have seen for a long time down Villa Park.
If I was to have any complaints about him it would be his kicking but I am sure he is well aware of this. Johnstone will probably admit himself that he is far from the finished article but to see how much he has improved/progressed in the short spell he has been at Villa Park has been impressive.
For me, he is up there with one of the best goalkeepers we have had since Mark Bosnich. I know that is some statement but he fills me with confidence. The only keeper I can think that comes close would be Brad Friedel.
His asking price won’t be cheap due to his age and potential. Manchester United do not need to sell and they know there will be other takers. Villa will enhance their chances of signing Johnstone should we gain promotion.
I think we would be looking at paying out around £5million for him but it could prove to be a great bit of business if he reaches his potential.