Aston Villa paying £6.5m for Sam Johnstone could prove bargain

Steve Bruce manager of Aston Villa looks on prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Bristol City at Villa Park on February 28, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Manchester United reportedly want £6.5 million for Aston Villa loanee Sam Johnstone this summer.

Villa keeper Sam Johnstone in action  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park on February 20, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

When Sam Johnstone returned to Aston Villa for a second loan spell before the start of this season, there may well have been a decent section of Villa supporters feeling underwhelmed that Steve Bruce had decided to put his faith in the Manchester United stopper.

The 24-year-old seemed to come in for criticism on an almost-weekly basis during his first loan spell, and it appeared that he may not be reliable enough to be the number one for a team that had its eyes set on promotion out of the Championship.

Steve Bruce, Manager of Aston Villa looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Aston Villa at Craven Cottage on April 17, 2017 in London, England.

However, barring a little wobble in February, Johnstone seems to have silenced most of his critics with some excellent form over the course of the season that has helped Villa put themselves right into the mix for the automatic-promotion spots heading into the final games of the season.

And it appears that they now know what they will need to pay if they want to sign Johnstone permanently this summer, with The Sun recently reporting that United want £6.5 million at the end of the season.

A general view of Villa Park ahead of the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Reading at Villa Park on April 15, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

If Villa are promoted, then that opportunity should be snapped up by the club as they will surely struggle to get a goalkeeper of that quality for that sort of price in today's game.

The Villans do not have the backup options that would fill Bruce with confidence if they did not manage to sign Johnstone and were unable to get a good enough replacement in for the new campaign, so paying the seven-figure fee for Johnstone should be a no-brainer for the Villans if they go up.

Johnstone has developed a much better understanding with his defence this season, and that will stand the team in good stead if they go up and manage to keep the same backline together. 

And with the keeper proving that he becomes significantly more reliable the more minutes he gets under his belt, there seems no reason why Villa should not make the move permanent in the summer if they are promoted. In fact, it should arguably be one of the first deals they get done. 

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