Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has said he’s hoping to impress Jose Mourinho with his form for the club’s reserves, but has also stressed the importance of playing first-team football.
The 23-year-old spoke to MUTV after the reserves beat Leicester City in the Premier League 2 and admitted he enjoys playing competitive first-team football – something he’s unlikely to get at United this season.
“Of course, it’s good to be around the first team,” Johnstone said. “Obviously, you never know when a chance might come but, on the other hand, I do need to play football.
“I’ve been on loan in previous seasons and enjoyed it, playing men’s football for points in front of crowds. You can’t beat that.
“But, like I’ve said, I’m here and, every time I step on the pitch, I’m here to do a job and hopefully show the manager what I can do and push Sergio [Romero] and David [De Gea].”
Johnstone, who’s been at Old Trafford since 2009, spent a short spell on loan at Preston North End last season, during which he made 4 appearances in the Championship.
He’s played for 6 different Football League clubs on loan since his promotion to United’s first team in 2011.
His desire to play regular first-team football is perfectly understandable. He’s 23 years old and obviously needs competitive football in order to progress as a player.
Being third-choice goalkeeper at United is not exactly doing him any favours in terms of progression as he hardly ever plays for the Red Devils in competitive games.
Mourinho needs three goalkeepers in his squad, but it’d be better for Johnstone to leave the club this month in order to get some much-needed first-team football.