Sam Johnstone was with Manchester United from the age of ten until his departure to join West Brom in 2018.

He is all set to face United for the first time since leaving the club this Saturday, when the Baggies travel to Old Trafford.

The goalkeeper will be looking to extend United’s wait for a home league win this season.

Manchester United v Sheffield United - FA Youth Cup Final 2nd Leg
(John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Pogba’s Youth Cup winning teammate

The last time United scooped the FA Youth Cup was in 2011.

That team contained Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, along with Johnstone between the sticks.

The stopper was unable to ever force his way into the United first team and left having never made a competitive senior appearance for the club.

He’s now 27, in his third season in the West Midlands, having finally made it back to the Premier League.

Seven loan spells

Johnstone was loaned out to seven different clubs between 2011 and 2018.


At Oldham, he didn’t play a single game. Then, at Scunthorpe he told WBA’s official website he was in and out of the team, getting a taste of men’s football for the first time.

He was similarly unable to establish himself at Walsall or Yeovil – then in the Championship – the year after.

Johnstone proved himself at Doncaster and then Preston before his career went to a new level on loan at Aston Villa in 2017.

He showed his quality at one of the biggest clubs in the country before opting to join West Brom permanently the following year.

Champions Cup 2015 - Manchester United v FC Barcelona
(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Still in touch with de Gea

In that same interview, Johnstone hailed his footballing education at United, which included training alongside David de Gea.

He praised the Spaniard’s calm approach and professionalism in training, as well as saying the pair are still in contact.

Johnstone says de Gea sent him a message last season with West Brom chasing promotion, saying he wanted to see him in the Premier League.

He is now a top flight player and will be looking for a clean sheet on his first trip to Old Trafford as an opposing player.

Have something to tell us about this article?