With Sam Johnstone returning to Manchester United upon the completion of his loan deal and recently compleating a move to relegated West Bromwich Albion in a deal worth £6.5 million, Villa are left without a clear first-choice goalkeeper. The choice for the starting position could be made easier with Birmingham Live reporting that West Brom are interested in bringing Mark Bunn to The Hawthorns as back up for Johnstone. Stoke City were also reportedly interested in the Villa man, however, their signing of Adam Federici from Bournemouth should see the end of their interest.
Bunn is currently in Portugal with the rest of the squad on the clubs pre-season training camp. Due to Villa’s financial crisis, there won’t be a lot, if any money to spend so the first choice keeper could be decided based upon performance at the training camp. With the opportunity to prove himself to be the first choice that could make his move to West Brom more unlikely.
Jed Steer will be assessed during pre-season after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to his dislocated shoulder. If he is fully fit by the beginning of the season it is more than likely that Steer will be the one starting between the sticks for Villa. However, Mark Bunn could impress over pre-season and stake his claim for the number one shirt.
An unlikely candidate for the starting position is Villa’s young Montenegrin Matija Sarkic. He featured on the bench for Villa on a few occasions as well as a short-term spell at Wigan on loan. Sarkic will most likely not feature in the league but could get some minutes for Villa this season in the cup should Jed Steer become the first choice keeper.