Emile Heskey believes clubs looking to sign West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone should be wary amid reported interest from Tottenham Hotspur, speaking exclusively to HITC.
We’ve seen this before.
An overworked goalkeeper catches the eye with a string of heroic performances for a relegation-threatened club before struggling at a team far higher up the Premier League pecking order.
Simon Mignolet – superb at Sunderland but error-riddled at Liverpool – is perhaps the prime example.
With the Sun reporting that Tottenham have identified Johnstone as a potential successor for World Cup winner Hugo Lloris, Heskey believes we should be wary about getting carried away with the in-form Baggies ace.
“He’s attracting attention. The only thing I would say is – I speak to goalkeepers, I’m friends with goalkeepers – when you’re playing at a club where you have a lot to do, making 15 saves (in one game) is nothing,” former Liverpool, Aston Villa and England striker Heskey explains.
“When you play at a top club where you only have to make two, that’s difficult. You only have to concentrate on two occasions, whereas when you’re constantly being peppered with shots, you’re always at it.
“I think he’s done fantastic and I do feel there will be teams looking at him, but (stepping up to a higher level) won’t be as easy as it looks.”
Johnstone pulled off the latest in a long line of exceptional, reflex stops to deny Manchester United captain Harry Maguire a stoppage-time winner during Sunday’s 1-1 draw.
In fact, no goalkeeper in the league has made more saves than the 27-year-old this season (96). But as Mignolet will tell you, it is not easy adapting to life at a club where concentration is key.