The 21-year-old goalkeeper had been part way through a loan spell with Doncaster Rovers but has cut that short to join hometown club Preston North End. Simon Grayson had been looking to bring him in during the summer and now the opportunity has arisen Johnstone will join Thorsten Stuckmann and Jamie Jones to compete for a starting berth.
Stuckmann and Jones have shared the duties so far this season, with Stuckmann taking over from the former Leyton Orient 'keeper a couple of months ago. Defensive performances have been impressive for a North End side currently sitting fourth in League One and the move for Johnstone has come out of the blue. Fans were hoping reinforcements would be brought in for the midfield, and attack but instead they now find themselves we three goalkeepers all capable of doing a job at this level.
Johnstone's father Glenn previously played for Preston in the 1990's under John Beck and this move means a lot to the Johnstone family. Speaking to the official Preston North End website, the 21-year-old said "I’m very happy to be here. It’s my hometown, I grew up in Preston and it is a proud day for me and for my family. "
"If anyone else other than Preston had shown an interest in me, the likelihood would have been I would have stayed at Doncaster."
Johnstone has found chances at United limited and now finds himself behind David De Gea, Victor Valdes, Anders Lindegaard, and Ben Amos. A chance to prove himself at his hometown club could lead to him making that move permanent in the not too distant future.