HLTCO presenter Dan Cook has been speaking about the potential arrival of Sam Johnstone at Crystal Palace.
Journalist Alan Nixon recently revealed that Palace have agreed a deal to sign the 29-year-old as a free agent.
The Times previously listed Tottenham Hotspur as frontrunners for his signature before The Mirror revealed that Everton were also interested, but it looks as if the Eagles have won the race to sign the netminder, who decided to run down his contract at the West Brom.
Lauded as an “unreal” keeper by pundit Paddy Kenny, Cook had his say as it appears the issues supposedly delaying the deal have been ironed out, and the podcaster is thrilled by the developments.
Will Johnstone be Palace's no.1?
He said: “The wages were a stumbling block a week or so ago, but it appears that particular hurdle has been cleared now.
“The hope for me is that Sam Johnstone is a goalkeeper that can be a real difference-maker for us in between the sticks, and I trust Dougie Freedman and the rest of the recruitment staff implicitly.
“I think if they are going to be giving him this four-year contract, there’s a real belief there that he can establish himself as the out-and-out No 1 and have a fantastic stay in SE25. So as I say, hopefully, that deal is one which gets the official announcement before long.”
TIF Thoughts on Johnstone to Crystal Palace…
Vicente Guaita and Jack Butland were both used by Patrick Vieira last season, but neither seemed to really nail down the No 1 jersey.
With Guaita now 35 and Butland clearly not favoured by the manager, Johnstone is seemingly being brought in to go straight between the sticks at Selhurst Park.
The 3-cap international was the busiest ‘keeper in the league during West Brom’s relegation campaign in 2020/21, making 166 saves, and keeping six clean sheets. So for a side higher in the standings, he could surely challenge Guaita’s clean-sheet tally of 11 from this term, so it does seem like a smart piece of business from the south Londoners.