Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace: Dan Cook believes Sam Johnstone could make a big difference

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Dan Cook has been speaking on the HLTCO podcast about the difference Sam Johnstone could make at Crystal Palace.

It has been reported that Palace are the favourites and look likely to snap up Johnstone on a free transfer this summer after he decided to let his deal run down at West Bromwich Albion, who failed to get out of the Championship at the first time of asking.

However, the arrival of Johnstone could have big implications for others at the club, with the Eagles boasting two ‘keepers with a lot of Premier League experience, meaning one may have to leave – which could most likely be Jack Butland, with interest emerging from Bournemouth.

Discussing his potential arrival at Selhurst Park, Cook is excited by what Johnstone could bring to the club given his pedigree and experience at both club and international level.

He said: “I think he is a goalkeeper, at 29, who can make a big difference for us in the next few years, but I suppose you can look towards Jack Butland and Sam Johnstone and say there isn’t a great deal to separate them in terms of ability.

Who would you rather have at Palace?

Butland!

Butland!

Johnstone!

Johnstone!

“My hope is that the scouting we’ve done in relation to Sam Johnstone leads towards him being a far better fit for Patrick Vieira’s style of football than either one of Vicente Guaita or Jack Butland.

“I think both at times this season have put [in] good performances, but they haven’t necessarily nailed down that No 1 starting role in the way that Julian Speroni did for so many years during his time at Crystal Palace, and hopefully if Sam Johnstone does arrive, he has a positive start and really becomes the undisputed No 1 goalkeeper at Crystal Palace.”

TIF Thoughts on Johnstone…

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Selhurst Park, Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace

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The England international is clearly a top-quality shot-stopper as during his only stint as a No 1 in the Premier League, he managed to rack up the most saves as the Baggies failed to avoid the drop, however, his passing was less successful, ranking in the bottom five for successful passes launched.

Therefore, the hope that he could come in and thrive under Patrick Vieira’s style of football – which saw Palace sit inside the top half for passes completed and possession – may not be something that is very realistic, at least in the immediate future.

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