Sam Johnstone: Manchester United keeper joins Aston Villa on a half-season loan

Sam Johnstone has spent two separate spells on loan at Deepdale with home town club Preston
Sam Johnstone has spent two spells on loan at Deepdale with home town club Preston

Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has joined Championship play-off hopefuls Aston Villa on loan for the rest of the season.

It is the 23-year-old's eighth loan move away from Old Trafford.

He has previously been at Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Yeovil, Doncaster Rovers (twice) and his home town club Preston (twice).

Johnstone was part of Preston's promotion-winning team to the Championship in 2014-15.

He is the first signing made by Villa boss Steve Bruce since the former United favourite took charge in October.

"It's a massive opportunity," Johnstone told BBC WM. "Look at the size of the club. Look at the manager and his track record. Look at the players, the fans. You can't turn down something like this."

Analysis

BBC WM's Mark Regan

"The move for Sam Johnstone was widely expected after summer signing Pierluigi Gollini found himself out of favour in the latter stages of 2016.

"It also signals an intent on the part of Steve Bruce to beef up his defensive ranks with a goalkeeper who has been highly thought of for some time and clearly has a big future ahead of him.

"I would expect the FA Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday to be his debut for Villa and I suspect he`ll be the first choice keeper going into the second half of the season."

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