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SAM JOHNSTONE landed a four-year switch to Crystal Palace - intent on earning a World Cup spot.

The three-cap England keeper, 29, joined on a free transfer after his West Brom deal ended.

2Palace welcomed new keeper Sam Johnstone with this image 2Old Trafford graduate Sam Johnstone has signed a four-year Eagles' contract

And the former Manchester United starlet insists his 'peak' years are just arriving.

The Red Devils and Tottenham were keen on Johnstone earlier in the summer.

But he reckons a greater chance of regular football - in the middle reaches of the Premier League - will best serve his career.

Johnstone told the Palace website: "I’m really excited to be here... Twenty-nine for goalkeepers is coming into your peak.

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“I had my loans growing up, and then my first permanent move to West Brom for the last four years which was great, and now it’s time to do another step and go again."

Patrick Vieira's entertaining side finished a comfortable 12th last season - with the seventh-best defensive record.

And Johnstone believes the Eagles as much as he himself are looking at greater things - under Vieira.

He said: “It’s a great opportunity for the lads to take on what they did last year into the new season and get higher up the table. 

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“I met the manager, which was good. I hear all good things about him and can’t wait to work under him.

“Everybody now is wanting to play football, and I think last year [Palace] did it and were good at it.

"It’s something the modern day goalkeeper needs to have in the locker as well. It’s something we did at West Brom over the last few years, so hopefully I can settle straight in with that as well."

And of his England hopes, he said: "Once you’ve had a taste of it, you want to keep going and getting into those squads, being with those high level players like I will be here day in, day out.

“That’s an aim personally for me, to get back in those squads. Hopefully I’ll settle in well here and that can be something I’m looking forward to.”

Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “Sam is a player we have admired for some time, and we are extremely pleased.

"His extensive experience, alongside his outstanding ability, will add even greater depth to our goalkeeping unit.”

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Fernando Tatis Jr. releases statement on 80-game PED suspension

Fernando Tatis Jr. has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for PEDs and the Padres superstar released a statement on the matter. 

The baseball world was rocked on Friday night as news broke that San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. had tested positive for the PED Clostebol and would be suspended for 80 games.

As Tatis was working his way back onto the field from an offseason wrist surgery that has required a lengthy and extensive recovery that has kept him off the field for the entire season to this point, this was devastating news.

Now, the 23-year-old star has spoken on the matter.

Fernando Tatis Jr. suspension: Padres star releases statement

Tatis released a full statement in which he claimed to have inadvertently taken a medication to “treat ringworm” that contained the PED Clostebol. He then apologized to fans, the Padres organization, MLB and his teammates.

He finished the statement saying the following:

“I am completely devastated. There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be than on the field competing with my teammates. After initially appealing the suspension, I have realized my mistake was the cause of this result, and for that reason I have decided to start serving my suspension immediately. I look forward to rejoining my teammates on the field in 2023.”

You can read the full statement below:

Statement from Fernando Tatis Jr., released by the MLBPA:

— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) August 12, 2022

Fernando Tatis Jr. contract: How PED suspension impacts Padres future

Many fans are left wondering what this 80-game suspension means for Tatis Jr.’s future in San Diego and his contract. But the truth of the matter is that it shouldn’t have much of an effect at all.

Tatis signed a 14-year, $340 million contract and will be under that deal until the 2035 offseason. Moreover, he has a full no trade clause in the deal until the 2028 season, meaning that the Padres couldn’t get out from the deal in a trade if they wanted to (or unless Tatis approved it).

While this isn’t good for anyone involved, though, the truth of the matter is that the 23-year-old will return early next season and this will be put in the past for him individually and San Diego. Thus, the contract isn’t much of a concern in this situation.

Next: Fernando Tatis Jr. popped for PEDs: Best memes & tweets

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