The biggest teams have such extensive youth systems that most players seem to have some kind of association with them these days, but Sam Johnstone’s story with Man United did last for almost ten years.
The West Brom goalkeeper spent his youth years and seven professional years on the books at Old Trafford without ever getting to play, but he did demonstrate during seven loan spells that he was good enough for the top level.
Obviously he had to move on to save his career and actually establish himself somewhere, so it’s pleasing to see that he’s become a key player for West Brom in the last couple of years.
He’s had his ups and downs but he did take a lot of praise for his performance against Man City earlier in the month, and he’s earned the affections of the Man United fans after a wonderful save in the final minutes to deny Liverpool tonight.
READ MORE: Video: Sam Johnstone denies Firmino a certain winning goal for Liverpool vs West Brom with amazing late save
There’s nothing like a bit of overreaction and love for a former player when they finally do something to help your club, so it’s interesting to see that a few fans are thanking Johnstone for keeping Man United’s title ambitions alive:
Sam Johnstone, former Man United GK turned legend makes a huge save to deny Liverpool two points… thank you Sammy!
— Rusty Runabout (@ForeverRed1878) December 27, 2020
Sam Johnstone, a Man United youth player, made the save of his life for Liverpool to drop points. He’s saving our title race lol
— Kamraan (@Kam1493) December 27, 2020
Sam Johnstone saving the title for Man united you love to see it
— Redz? (@RedwaanRedz) December 27, 2020
Sam johnstone , Man united agent at WBA, job well done
— m.ngugi (@Pete007M) December 27, 2020
Sam Johnstone just pulled off the save of the season. Great goalkeeper. From a Man United fan, well done West Brom on getting a point. #WHUBHA
— David Anthony (@DNA_85) December 27, 2020
Sam Johnstone doing @ManUtd big favours we are back with a chance
— Harry Honesty (@HarryHonesty) December 27, 2020
Sam Johnstone, doing Man United proud ?
— Peter ? (@UtdPeter00) December 27, 2020
United do need to be considered as challengers because of their position in the table, but you still get the feeling that they’ll let themselves down in some supposedly “easy” games and eventually tail off.
They do have plenty of former youth players floating about the Premier League so there’s the potential for a few more to frustrate Liverpool over the next few months, and they’ll probably need it.