EFL pundit believes Portsmouth should target Bristol Rovers or West Brom goalkeepers to replace Manchester City loanee Gavin Bazunu next season

Highly-rated Pompey keeper Gavin Bazunu is set to return to Manchester City at the end of the campaign after the conclusion of his season-long loan.

By Pepe Lacey
Friday, 25th March 2022, 10:00 am

But with the 20-year-old’s future set to be away from Fratton Park, the Blues boss has the unenviable task of finding a suitable replacement.

Pompey already have Alex Bass and teenager Toby Stewart under contract for next term, while Northern Ireland under-21 international Ollie Webber arrived in January on a short term.

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Bass has a strong case to be number one shirt next year as he closes out the season at League Two Bradford.

But Cowley could look elsewhere as he bids to fill the massive void left by Bazunu.

To get an idea of who the Blues boss might turn to, we spoke to EFL Debate presenter Gabriel Sutton, who gave us his views on the stoppers Pompey should go in search of.

He came up with two potential replacements – one of which will be known by the Fratton faithful.

From left: James Belshaw and Josh Griffiths

He said: ‘I really like James Belshaw at Bristol Rovers, it's his second season in the EFL now and he’s a really agile goalkeeper and would definitely be one for them to take a look at.

‘I also really like Josh Griffiths who is currently at West Brom and has had loan spells at Cheltenham and Lincoln and one for sure they would need to look into.’

Belshaw has been Joey Barton’s trusted number one throughout the season, as the Gas bid for an instant return to League One.

The 31-year-old arrived at the Memorial Stadium after an impressive three-year spell at Harrogate, where he kept 11 clean sheets in his first season in the EFL before his move to the West County last summer.

This term, his fine form has continued, having 14 shutouts to his name, which could catch the eye of teams higher up the pyramid.

Pompey fans will be no stranger to West Brom keeper Josh Griffiths, after the stopper was linked with a move to PO4 last summer.

As the Blues searched for Craig MacGillivray’s replacement, the 20-year-old had been highly recommended after a strong first season in professional football on loan at Cheltenham,

In his debut campaign, the West Brom loanee kept 21 clean sheets in 44 outings as Michael Duff’s side clinched promotion from League Two.

His impressive form has continued into this term, making the step up to League One with Lincoln, and had been number one for Michael Appleton’s side before a season-ending injury last month.

But with Cowley highly likely to explore the goalkeeping market again this summer, the Blues may explore the possibility of looking at the 20-year stopper, who’s highly thought of at the Hawthorns.

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