Destined for England like Crystal Palace's Jack Butland - the glowing reference for Portsmouth-linked West Brom and ex-Lincoln goalkeeper Josh Griffiths

Following Pompey’s reported interest in West Brom goalkeeper Josh Griffiths, we spoke to Gloucester Live’s Jon Palmer – who saw the entirety of the shot-stopper’s loan at Cheltenham Town in 2020-21 – to get the lowdown.

By Sam Cox
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 11:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 2:26 pm

Here’s what Palmer told The News about the 20-year-old…

I’ve given all the previous Cheltenham Town players linked with Pompey a good reference and Josh Griffiths is going to be the same.

He was outstanding during Cheltenham’s title-winning season. He played 44 league games and missed only two because of international duty and he was a big part of the Robins winning the League Two title.

He won Chairman’s Player of the Year that season and made his debut on his 19th birthday while Cheltenham had the very experienced Scott Flinders in the squad.

As a result, many wondered if he was going to play or just be back-up to Flinders, but Michael Duff decided to make him number one and chucked him in on the first day of the season which was away to Peterborough in the EFL Cup.

The most impressive thing about Griffiths is whenever he did make a mistake he didn’t let it affect him. He got beaten by the longest-ever goal scored against Newport four days before they played Manchester City at home in the FA Cup.

West Brom goalkeeper Josh Griffiths has been linked with a move to Pompey. Picture: Photo by Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images

As a 19-year-old goalkeeper you start to think ‘is he and his confidence going to be affected by this?’ but he came out against Pep Guardiola’s side in front of the BBC cameras and was outstanding in that game.

It showed his character of bouncing back from the odd set-back. He didn’t make too many mistakes, but when he did, he didn’t let it affect him.

Griffiths was much more comfortable playing out, which is why he got the nod over Flinders, and Cheltenham haven’t really replaced him.

The 20-year-old had that huge frame at 6ft 7in and when you see someone at that height you do worry if they may be clumsy with the ball at their feet but he was very calm.

Having conducted a few interviews with him he’s also very mature for his age.

Everyone thought ‘this kid has the potential to play at the top level’.

There would have been certain aspects of his game that he needs to keep working on, but in terms of his size, temperament, shot-stopping ability and composure on the ball – I think the only thing he needed to add to that was more and more games.

He’s obviously got more experience in League One under his belt after being with Lincoln, although it was cut short by injury.

Having seen a lot of good goalkeepers, including Jack Butland and Dillon Phillips, I think Griffiths is right up there.

Butland was playing for England before long after being at Cheltenham and I think Griffiths has the chance of playing for England.

But he needs to keep on playing and improving, but his attitude tells me he can get there.