Lukasz Fabianski has been a superb servant for West Ham since arriving in East London from Swansea in 2018.
The Poland international has kept 23 clean sheets in 93 appearances across all competitions for the Hammers, who are currently sitting fourth in the Premier League standings and on the way to qualifying for Europe.
David Moyes has done a tremendous job at improving to the defence so Fabianski doesn’t have to face as many shots in his previous two seasons at the London Stadium – but that doesn’t mean the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper’s form has dipped.
Fabianski is still as good as ever but the 35-year-old, who’ll turn 36 this month, will enter the final year of his contract at West Ham in the summer.
That has sparked The Athletic’s Steve Madeley to suggest that West Ham could be a potential destination for West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone in the summer as he aims to stay in the Premier League if the Baggies are relegated.
West Brom’s relegation seems inevitable despite their shock 5-2 win at Chelsea on Saturday and it is understood Albion won’t stand in the way of Johnstone leaving the club as he, like Fabianski, will be out of contract in 2022.
Johnstone could be up for grabs between £7.5million and £10million in the summer transfer window so that has us thinking that the former Manchester United shot-stopper could be a long-term replacement for Fabianski.
But the stats suggest that Johnstone might even be a better option right off the bat than Fabianski based on the season he’s had at The Hawthorns.
While we all know that Fabianski is a superb shot-stopper and we’re very lucky to have him at West Ham, the stats do not lie in saying that Johnstone could be a better number one.
As you can see in the graph below, stats by Wyscout suggest Johnstone has had a better season.
While Johnstone is bound to have made more saves due to facing more shots per 90 minutes of Premier League action than Fabianski, he’s also prevented more goals.
Using figures on the Wyscout website, Fabianski has actually conceded 1.03 more goals than he should have done this season. In comparison, Johnstone has conceded 2.44 fewer than he should have.
That’s because while Johnstone is expected to concede more goals per 90 minutes [1.92], he hasn’t conceded as many [1.84]. As for Fabianski, he concedes more [1.16] than he’s expected to [1.13].
While Johnstone, on the surface, has conceded so many more goals and kept fewer clean sheets than Fabianski, it seems to be down to the quality of defending in front of both goalkeepers more than anything.
West Ham’s backline has seasoned Premier League veterans like Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson whereas Albion have relied upon rookies like Semi Ajayi and Dara O’Shea.
Johnstone is also 28-years-old, has just been called up to the England national squad and could be available on the cheap.
West Ham might have a bit of extra money to spend in the summer if they can qualify for European football and getting in someone who could seriously challenge Fabianski for the number one shirt or serve as a long-term replacement could be a very good idea.
In other West Ham news,