Journalist Chris Lepkowski has been speaking on The Liquidator podcast about West Brom wanting to sign a striker in January and how that may be affected by Sam Johnstone’s future.
The Baggies have currently scored the second-lowest amount of goals inside the top six in the Championship and that certainly highlights an obvious area that needs to be strengthened in January if West Brom are wanting to leapfrog one of Fulham or Bournemouth into an automatic promotion spot.
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Joseph Masi reported over the summer that West Brom had a shortlist of strikers, but none of them actually arrived during a transfer window where no money was spent on a transfer fee.
Now though, with Johnstone’s future still up in the air and talk about whether he will see out if his contract or leave in January, West Brom could potentially sell their England international to help fund a move for a new striker, if the owners are unwilling to put in any more of their own money into the club.
However, Lepkowski spoke about why Johnstone’s future should not directly impact the club’s search for a forward, having suggested earlier in the podcast that Ismael was keen to add to their forward ranks.
He said: “I mentioned the striker before that Ismael wants to bring in – that isn’t affected by Sam Johnstone’s future, to my knowledge.
“And I’m not convinced that if we brought money in for Sam Johnstone now, it would necessarily all be reinvested into new players, anyway. We’d be a really, really good goalkeeper short for starters, and I think there’s no benefit to that.”
TIF Thoughts on selling Johnstone for a new striker…
West Brom will have received parachute payments following their relegation into the Championship and that makes it even more bizarre as to why they failed to invest any amount of money into transfer fees.
This could therefore be a worrying sign for West Brom fans if their owners don’t want to pump money into the club, as they may well look to sell off their top assets, much like they did with Matheus Pereira over the summer, but just like when the midfielder was sold, the money may not be put back into the first-team squad.
From Johnstone’s point of view, if he can see out the remainder of this season and help the Baggies earn promotion, his stock will continue to rise, and as a free agent, will be able to earn a sizeable signing-on fee which may not be forthcoming if he left in January, so the shot-stopper himself may look to block any early exit from The Hawthorns.