James Chester hoping for Sam Johnstone’s Aston Villa return
Skipper James Chester hopes Villa are successful in securing Sam Johnstone’s return from Manchester United this summer after hailing the goalkeeper’s character.
Chester reckons the 24-year-old, who made 22 appearances for Villa while on loan during the second half of the season, has the right mentality to be part of a successful promotion push.
Boss Steve Bruce was poised to meet with Jose Mourinho this week as he attempts to persuade his United counterpart to allow Johnstone to return to Villa next season, either permanently or on another temporary deal.
And Chester for one is hoping the manager is successful.
“The type of character Sam is, having been brought up at United, he has the right mentality,” he said.
“I think we have seen in recent months what a good keeper he is and he will only get better and better with age.
“If there is some business to be done there, it will be welcome. Sam has shown how good he can be.”
Johnstone recovered from a shaky start to be one of Villa’s most consistent performers during the closing weeks of the campaign and Chester, who also came through the ranks at United, believes the keeper’s grounding at Old Trafford has served him well.
“Myself and Sam have been very fortunate in our upbringing,” he said. “As a young lad, being at one of the biggest clubs in the world - even as an eight or nine-year-old every team wanted to beat you.
“You had to handle that pressure a little bit. You can see where the manager is coming from with the size of the club, the history and the fanbase we have there is pressure.
“You have to have a certain mentality to deal with that. The dressing room we have now, I’m confident that can happen.”