Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has expressed a desire to sign Sam Johstone from Manchester United on a permanent basis over the January transfer window.
The 24-year-old keeper, who has been at Man United since 2009, joined the Birmingham side on loan back in January and impressed between the sticks following a shaky start.
Bruce duly handed Johnstone another loan deal for the 2017/18 campaign and the Englishman has enjoyed a superb start to the campaign, making six clean sheets in total as Villa lie just one point off the play-off spots.
And the boss admitted following Villa’s 1-0 home win over Bolton on Saturday that he would look to sign Johnstone on a permanent basis.
“It would be great to keep him here for the next few years as Villa’s No.1,” he said.
“I will need to ask the question. The ideal move for us would be to buy him in January. You’ve seen it, a young goalkeeper coming in and getting better with every game he plays.
“The difference in him since he’s started in January to now is light years. He’s confident, playing every week and he’s playing real football.”
Sir Alex Fergsuon used to make a point about United’s youth system that has always resonated: that those who come through the academy and work hard will receive a chance to play first team football in some capacity, even if it isn’t for United.
This club doesn’t just produce talent that can be funnelled into the first team; they give youngsters the tools they need to succeed elsewhere, perhaps at a slightly lower level, but succeed and develop nonetheless.
And Johnstone, following an impressive year with Villa, has been granted an excellent opportunity to assert himself in the Championship.