July 20, 2024

Josh Griffiths is set to leave West Brom on loan to join Bristol Rovers for next season, according to Joe Chapman.

The Birmingham Mail journalist reported via Twitter on 9 July that the goalkeeper’s fourth loan move will be an “important one” because of the need for game time.

On the newspaper’s website he further reported that the impending arrival of free agent Joe Wildsmith is set to fill the back-up spot behind regular starter Alex Palmer, with Ted Cann having signed a new deal this summer to be third-choice.

The plan for Griffiths, 22, is to get a good season of senior football in with Rovers in League One and return to The Hawthorns with two years still left on his deal next summer.

He is said to be “highly-rated” by Carlos Corberan, a former keeper himself, but with the pathway blocked in the first team the priority is to get the homegrown player a move in order to play, and he is now “all set” to do so.

Carlos Corberan a fan of West Brom keeper Josh Griffiths

Signing a 28-year-old who has been a regular for Derby County in the past couple of seasons might look like a negative development from Griffith’s perspective.

But the Baggies can at least point to the career path of Palmer, who came through the youth ranks and spent seven seasons in the senior set-up without making a single league appearance for the club before becoming the clear first-choice under Corberan.

The 27-year-old himself made seven separate loan moves before breaking through so Griffith’s development away from the club could easily see him follow in his teammate’s footsteps.

The youngster is already ahead of that trajectory, having made a handfull of West Brom appearances already, but sitting on the bench last term behind Palmer only got him three outings in cup competitions so the logic behind a full campaign in the first team elsewhere looks sound.

In that context a move to bring in Wildsmith as a cheap, experienced back-up, who Corberan will hope he doesn’t need to turn to extensively, fills a gap without being financially restrictive for the rest of the window with more significant departures likely needing to be replaced.

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