Sam Johnstone was released by West Bromwich Albion in May after his contract at the Hawthorns expired, opening the door for David Button to become Steve Bruce’s new No.1 goalkeeper.

The 33-year-old started Albion’s opening game of the 2021/22 Championship campaign when Johnstone’s future was uncertain and replaced him for the run-in, so Elias Burke of The Athletic says Button will be first-choice next season, calling him ‘solid and dependable’.

It’s bad news for Alex Palmer as he’s had a lot of experience out on loan and was expected to have an opportunity to impress in pre-season, but it appears he’s fighting from second place. Bruce will relish pitting the 25-year-old against Button to get the best performance from both, however.

The 33-year-old joined West Brom from Brighton & Hove Albion in 2020 and vowed to compete for the No.1 jersey. Two years and 15 appearances later, he’s finally in a position to do so. Palmer has only made one appearance for the Baggies but has 113 games under his belt in the Football League.

Bruce is leaning towards Button but can give Palmer a chance to stake a claim.

In other news, Carlton Palmer says Adam Reach must improve under Steve Bruce