Disappointing ex-Portsmouth loanee and West Brom man joins Bristol Rovers after just three games in 15 months

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A former Pompey player with three games in 15 months has gone in search of first-team football.

Josh Griffiths spent the first half of the 2022-23 season at Fratton Park, earning mixed reviews, before being recalled by West Brom to play in the Championship.

Yet last season Alex Palmer established himself as the Baggies’ number one, with Griffiths restricted to purely cup outings.

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Now the 22-year-old, who attended an England Under-21 training camp last summer, has joined Bristol Rovers on a season-long loan.

To complete West Brom’s goalkeeping overhaul, Joe Wildsmith has signed for them on a two-year deal following his release from Derby.

He will now compete with Palmer, who was a Championship and play-off ever-present as they were eliminated by Southampton.

Griffiths’ progress has stalled since arriving at Fratton Park as a highly-promising goalkeeper under Danny Cowley in July 2022.

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Replacing fellow loanee Gavin Bazunu, he never reached the impressive heights of his predecessor and was often judged unflatteringly in comparison by Blues supporters.

Griffiths made 28 appearances, including the FA Cup fixture at Spurs, before West Brom activated their recall option in January 2023.

He was soon replaced by Luton’s Matt Macey, who enjoyed a far brighter second half of the season at Fratton Park.

However, Griffiths was thrust straight into the Championship club’s first-team upon his return, featuring 10 times for Carlos Corberan’s side.

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Yet the 2023-23 campaign would finish with Palmer in goal at The Hawthorns - and he retained his place through last season as they ended up fifth.

Instead, Griffiths featured in one Carabao Cup fixture and two FA Cup ties as he served as back-up from the bench.

‘I’ve had some good conversations with the manager and he has put across his ideas to me, what he wants from the style of play, and those talks went really well.

‘I got a good feel from him in those chats and then had further conversations with George and Scott, who presented the club really well.’

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