Shropshire Star

Josh Griffiths completes Bristol Rovers loan with Joe Wildsmith set for West Brom

Albion goalkeeper prospect Josh Griffiths has completed a season-long loan to League One outfit Bristol Rovers.

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Griffiths, 22, will spend the upcoming campaign on loan at the Memorial Stadium for his fourth senior loan stint away from The Hawthorns.

The highly-rated England youth international, who penned a new two-year contract extension this summer, has made more than 100 appearances in his previous stints away from the club and his time in Bristol will be a first loan away in 18 months.

Albion have the opportunity to recall Griffiths in the January transfer window, as well as an emergency recall option, if required.

Former Derby County goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith, 28, is poised to finalise a free transfer to the Baggies and will take Griffiths' place in serving as deputy to first-choice goalkeeper Alex Palmer.

Wildsmith left the Rams at the end of last season having won the golden glove for the most clean sheets in League One (with 20) in helping his side to automatic promotion to the Championship.

The former Sheffield Wednesday shot-stopper spent two seasons at Pride Park and played close to 100 games. New deal talks broke down early last season and Wildsmith left as a free agent.

Griffiths is highly regarded at The Hawthorns and made 10 league appearances the season before last following his recall from a League One loan with Portsmouth. Previously he had been a regular for Cheltenham in League Two and Lincoln in League One.

The Hereford-born keeper stated his intention to follow in fellow academy graduate Palmer's footsteps in the future by becoming Albion's first-choice between the sticks.

His previous contract was set to expire next summer but new terms have tied Griffiths to the club until 2027.

Loan club Bristol Rovers finished 15th last season. Managed by Matt Taylor, their No.1 goalkeeper last season started as Brentford loan goalkeeper Matthew Cox before he was recalled in January and academy graduate Jed Ward played in the second half of the campaign.