Sam Johnstone will come up against more than one familiar face when he makes his first return to Manchester United since leaving the club for West Brom on Saturday – and keeping counterpart David De Gea will be among them. Johnstone hasn’t missed a minute of a league game since swapping United for Albion in the summer of 2018, and he’s been one of the Baggies’ stand-out performers in what has been a difficult campaign thus far. Upon his return to Old Trafford, Johnstone has revealed that Spanish international and United number one De Gea dropped him a message last season, sending on his best wishes amid Albion’s bid for a return to the top flight.
Sam Johnstone said “We still keep in contact now. He did message me last year and he said ‘I want to see you in the Premier League’. It’s nice to get messages like that, Just watching him everyday. In the gym, just around the place, training. Before games, when we travelled, he was very relaxed and confident in his own ability, and obviously very good. In warm ups, watching him, you can’t get much better from that. I was learning from him every single day. He’s a good person.It was great. It was unbelievable, really. It’s not just the discipline on the pitch – they teach you everything as a person, growing up, You are taught respect, your schoolwork is important – it’s not pushed to one side. And your football. They get the right balance. It was great, you train with some of the best players in the world. I was lucky to grow up at Man United, but it was time to go. I’ve not been there for four or five years, now. You want to play every week.”
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