Aston Villa’s on-loan goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has opened the door to a permanent move to the club this summer, declaring ‘I’m 25 now and ready to settle.’
The Manchester United loanee has spent a year-and-a-half at Villa Park since joining in January 2017, and has become the club’s clear number one between the sticks.
His brilliant form this season has inevitably drawn interest from elsewhere, with a permanent exit from United looking likely after failing to make a senior appearance in seven years at the club.
In an interview with the Guardian, Johnstone has now spoken about how his time at Villa has helped him develop, and opened the door to staying at the club beyond this summer amid interest from the Premier League.
“I enjoy seeing fans say [they want me to stay] because I enjoy being here. Basically I’ve gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. That’s something I’m proud of, to have turned their opinions of me, and I think the goalkeeping coach [Gary Walsh] has probably seen a change in me. You just need those games to get your confidence.”
“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. It’s been fun getting games in and getting different experiences but I’m 25 now and ready to settle. Hopefully Villa get promoted and we’ll take things from there.”
The Guardian report that several Premier League clubs were interested in Johnstone in January.
It is no surprise that Villa fans want Johnstone to stay at the club. The 25-year-old has been fantastic all season and looks like he could easily be a Premier League goalkeeper at this rate. The easiest way for the club to retain his services this summer would be to gain promotion to the top-flight, because the stopper has obvious designs on playing at that level. That is not to say that Johnstone will not stay if they remain in the Championship, but if a top-flight club come calling and are ready with the cash, then United and Johnstone would be hard-pressed to turn them down.