Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has admitted he may consider settling at current club Aston Villa once his loan expires in the summer.
The shot stopper is behind David de Gea, Sergio Romero and Joel Castro Pereira in the pecking order at Old Trafford, and at 25, may now be keen on finding a permanent home with regular football easily available.
Johnstone initially joined Villa in January 2017, and returned in the summer on a season-long deal.
The goalkeeper is in no doubts that the current season – with Villa sat fourth in the Sky Bet Championship – has been far more enjoyable than the end of the 2016/17 campaign was.
“I enjoy seeing fans say that because I enjoy being here,” he says.
“Basically I’ve gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. That’s something I’m proud of, to have turned their opinions of me, and I think the goalkeeping coach [Gary Walsh] has probably seen a change in me.
“You just need those games to get your confidence.”
Should Johnstone leave, he would depart having spent 15 years at the club without going on to make a single competitive appearance.
“If you leave, then the one downside is that you haven’t done that despite being there since you were 10,” he says.
“I’d have liked to have done it. But you’ve got the world’s best goalkeeper, David de Gea, at the club and you can’t wait around forever.
“You realise you might have to take the example of someone like Michael Keane, who went to Burnley and has gone from strength to strength [with Everton and England].”
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