Sam Johnstone: Who is the Manchester United goalkeeper making his debut in place of David De Gea?

With United's No 1 not in the right state of mind to play, Louis van Gaal is set to give Johnstone a start against Tottenham

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The Independent Online

Louis van Gaal revealed yesterday that David De Gea would play no part in Manchester United's opening game of the season, which is against Tottenham at Old Trafford today.

The Real Madrid target is not in the right frame of mind according to the Manchester United manager.

“We have seen in training he is not the De Gea of last year. He tries, he does his utmost, but it is a difficult situation,” he said.

It's a situation that's left United with something of a goalkeeper crisis because understudy for last season, Victor Valdes, has been frozen out by Van Gaal after allegedly refusing to play for the reserves.

 

It means Sam Johnstone is expected to start in goal today instead - but who is he?

The 22-year-old is a product of the Manchester United academy. He's never played a competitive game for Manchester United but Van Gaal clearly sees promise in the Englishman, and a future for him at Old Trafford, judging by the youngster's involvement in pre-season.

He started the games against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes - the first of which ended with United keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win and the second they won 3-1. He also came on as a substitute in the victory over Barcelona.

Johnstone went on loan to Preston last season, his home town club. It was a great success with his performances helping Simon Grayson's side to promotion via the play-offs to the Championship. He's also had spells at Scunthorpe, Yeovil, Walsall and Doncaster - racking up 70 Football League appearances in the process.

Part of the side that won the FA Youth Cup with Manchester United four years ago, he looks like a future prospect for England too having represented the Three Lions at various age levels up to the Under-20s. He's yet to play for the Under-21s however.

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