League One outfit Portsmouth are currently weighing up a loan move for West Bromwich Albion shot-stopper Josh Griffiths ahead of the summer window, according to a Twitter update from talkSPORT’s Alex Crook.
The 20-year-old was a regular starter for Lincoln City after being promoted with Cheltenham Town during the 2020/21 season, making the step up well from the fourth tier at the LNER Stadium.
Only an injury in the latter stages of the campaign prevented the young goalkeeper from making more third-tier appearances during 2021/22, though interest still remains in his signature with Pompey weighing up a move.
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Danny Cowley’s side saw Gavin Bazunu return to Manchester City at the end of last term – and this leaves the south-coast outfit with a considerable void to fill after seeing the Republic of Ireland international stand out as one of the best keepers in the division.
They could turn to Griffiths, who isn’t likely to be heavily involved at The Hawthorns next season despite Sam Johnstone leaving on the expiration of his contract this summer.
David Button and Alex Palmer both signed new contracts last month, potentially consigning Griffiths to another move away as he looks to force his way into Steve Bruce’s plans at some point in the coming years.
At this stage, Pompey are only pursuing a temporary move for his services.
This move would make sense for the 20-year-old because although he could benefit from training with the likes of Button and Palmer, with the former having a wealth of experience under his belt, he needs to keep playing football.
There may be an opportunity for him to play in the club’s youth system – but he should continue to play first-team football to give himself the best chance of being ready in the coming years if he needs to become Albion’s first-choice shot-stopper at any point.
Button isn’t going to remain at The Hawthorns forever, so a senior role at the Baggies could open up if he’s patient enough and that makes a temporary move ideal.
He could potentially push for a permanent transfer to a side lower in the pyramid before trying to seal a move back in the second tier – but he seems to be in good hands in the Midlands and could easily become a star for Bruce’s side during the 2023/24 campaign and beyond if he impresses at Pompey or elsewhere next term.
And for Cowley’s side, this would be a good addition with Griffiths only likely to get better following his first season in the third tier. And it should also be a reasonably cheap deal to negotiate, allowing them to focus on other targets.