Manchester United allow goalkeeper to leave Old Trafford on loan

Sam Johnstone

Manchester United have confirmed their goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has returned to Preston North End on loan on Thursday.

The 22-year-old joined his hometown club in January 2015 and spent the second half of the last season on-loan at Deepdale. During his time at the club, the stopper helped his side to achieve promotion to the Championship.

In the League One play-off final, Johnstone was in between the post as Preston moved to the second tier of English football after defeating Swindon Town 4-0 at Wembley.

“Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is joining Preston North End on loan for the second time in his fledgling career, after helping his hometown team earn promotion to the Championship last season,” a statement read on United’s official website.

“Johnstone will be added to Simon Grayson’s squad for one month and will be eligible to play in their next fixture, at home to Rotherham on Saturday 2 January,” it added.

Johnstone was part of Louis van Gaal’s pre-season squad, but is yet to make his debut for the 20-time English champions. With his temporary Old Trafford departure, it leaves the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager with David de Gea and Sergio Romero as the two first choice keepers at the club.

United also have the services of Victor Valdes, who has just six months left on his contract at Old Trafford. The Spaniard has not been included in Van Gaal’s plan at Old Trafford as his compatriot De Gea has been the first choice keeper this season.

Meanwhile, Preston manager Grayson has expressed his after securing the services of for an initial period of 28 days.

“Sam is someone we know very well and someone we tried to sign in the summer. It is a big boost to have him available and back at the football club again,” Preston manager told the club’s official website.

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