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West Brom must rue selling ‘sensational’ gem who is now worth 2x more than Diangana

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Since their last game, West Bromwich Albion’s image as a strong defense in the Championship has suffered due to a lackluster performance in which the Baggies let three goals against Sheffield Wednesday.

In the end, the Owls outclassed the stunned West Brom defense by being clinical in front of goal, netting three of their seven attempts on goal, while the visitors were wasteful, managing just one goal from their eight efforts on goal.

In order for Carlos Corberan’s team to go to the playoffs, Alex Palmer will need to return to his best in goalkeeping. Palmer is aware that in order to prevent the Baggies from being exposed in pivotal situations, he will need to be significantly more dependable in those potential big games down the road.

Given that the former goalkeeper has already established himself as a dependable alternative in goal for his new Premier League employers, there must now be some residual sorrow on the part of the West Midlands team that they were unable to maintain a stronger hold on him.

The tenure of Sam Johnstone at West Brom

Sam Johnstone spent several seasons as West Brom’s starting goalkeeper until leaving the team to join Crystal Palace two years ago. He made 167 appearances overall for the West Midlands team before heading to Selhurst Park.

The former Manchester United youth product joined the Eagles on a free transfer after West Brom had earlier rejected a £10 million approach from West Ham United for the services of their top goalkeeper, so the trade to Palace must have stung the Baggies.

Johnstone, who played most of his games in the Championship while still with the Hawthorns, would go on to excel in the Premier League for his old team. This performance, which came away at Manchester City in 2020 and aided his team to an unexpected 1-1 draw, was one of his best in the competition.

Having kept 45 clean sheets throughout his time with the Baggies, including seven in the harsh Premier League conditions, West Brom had to have been concerned shortly after Johnstone’s transfer to Palace that he would be very difficult to replace.

Palmer has played a safe role for the most of the current second-tier season, with an amazing 17 clean sheets from 45 games played. However, if West Brom were to secure promotion shortly, there will be concerns over whether Palmer could manage the step-up.

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Johnstone’s transfer worth has increased since, according to Football Transfers, he has proven this season at Palace that he is unquestionably a Premier League caliber goalkeeper.

The 2024 transfer value of Johnstone

The England international’s current valuation is £4.7 million, so Oliver Glasner’s Eagles will be aware that they struck gold when they signed him for free. This is less than the £6.5 million West Brom spent for the 31-year-old’s services in 2018, only to lose him for free after four years. Johnstone, who Gary Lineker has labeled “sensational,” has kept six clean sheets this season when put into action. Despite his recent injury struggles, Johnstone is still a dependable hand to bring into the spotlight when needed. Despite Grady Diangana, an attacker for West Brom, joining the Baggies for £12 million in 2020, the Palace ‘keeper’s 2024 appraisal places him at double the attacker’s present value. This season, Corberan’s promotion hopefuls have seen him fade in and out of far too many games. Of his 15 goal contributions for the campaign, none have come in his struggling team’s last four second-tier matches. The 26-year-old will be hoping he can still produce a magical moment or two in the upcoming playoffs, even though his value has dropped to a pitiful £1.7 million.diangana-west-brom-phillips-corberan-championship

West Brom will have to ensure they get there first, however, with a tense atmosphere expected at the Hawthorns this coming weekend in a showdown against Preston North End that will decide their fate.

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