PNE sign goalkeeper Johnstone

Sam Johnstone
Sam Johnstone
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Preston North End have signed Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone on loan for the rest of the season.

The 21-year-old had been on loan at Doncaster Rovers but United recalled him in order for him to move to Deepdale.

Preston-born Johnstone, who went to school in Leyland, is the son of former PNE keeper Glenn Johnstone.

With Thorsten Stuckmann and Jamie Jones already in the first-team squad, North End will have three senior keepers fighting for a place.

Johnstone is cup-tied for the FA Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy having played for Doncaster in both competitions.

He joined United’s academy as a schoolboy and has loan spells with Scunthorpe, Walsall and Yeovil.

Last season he played 18 games on loan for Doncaster and rejoined them in October.

Johnstone played twice at Deepdale for the England Under-19 side in May 2012.

North End manager Simon Grayson said: “This is a lad we have kept our eye on for some time.

“We tried to do something in the summer with him and when a player comes available who you think is going to improve the squad, regardless of what you have already, and you have the green light to go and do it, then it’s something you go and do.

“We believe that he is going to be a top goalkeeper.

“He has been brought up at Manchester United and played for England at youth level and that tells you everything you need to know about him.”

Johnstone said: “I’m very happy to be here. It’s my hometown,

“I grew up in Preston and it is a proud day for me and for my family.

“If anyone else other than Preston had shown an interest in me, the likelihood would have been I would have stayed at Doncaster, who have been very good to me.

“But this being my hometown club it was difficult to turn down.”

The loan deal is with the view to a possible permanent move in the summer, although that could be dependant on North End getting to the Championship.

Johnstone goes straight into the squad for Friday night’s televised home clash with Leyton Orient.