Outstanding distribution, calm with their feet and superb shot-stopping - why Portsmouth have been linked with moves for West Brom and Brighton goalkeepers this summer

Pompey are looking to sign two of English football’s most progressive and exciting duos by reportedly holding an interest in goalkeepers Josh Griffiths and Carl Rushworth.

By Sam Cox
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 6:00 pm

It’s no secret the Fratton chief is in the market for someone between the sticks this summer.

That’s because of the Republic of Ireland’s return to Manchester City and subsequent move to Southampton, along with Ollie Webber’s release at the end of the last term.

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Throughout June, reports emerged that the Blues were ready to move for the temporary services of either the Championship shot-stopper or the Premier League youngster.

If one of the pair make the move to the south coast they’ll be hoping to replicate their seasons at Lincoln and Walsall respectively last term.

One of the key attributes Cowley demands from his keepers is the ability to play out the back – and they both fulfil this remit.

Josh Griffiths and Carl Rushworth have both been linked with a move to Pompey.

However, the Seagulls youngster boasts a slightly higher percentage than this with 83.5 percent of all passes played completed, while his average of forward passes is slightly lower at 72.6 percent.

Being comfortable with the ball is an outstanding attribute to have, but means nothing if goalkeepers aren’t reliable within their box.

Luckily, both options for Pompey don’t let their sides down when facing shots.

For the Saddlers, Rushmore he prevented 60 percent of all efforts coming towards him from finding the back of the net – and he conceded less than his expected goals conceded (xCG) of 1.29 with an average of 1.19.

Unfortunately, Griffiths’ stats in this department are slightly less appealing, as he would save 52.3 percent of shots towards him and he conceded more goals than his xCG would represent – as he averaged 1.03 goals per game compared to 1.01 predicted.

That said, Bazunu’s numbers when at Rochdale were hardly appealing, as his side were relegated to League Two in 2021.

An interesting aspect of both of their games to examine is how many short goal kicks they take.

Griffiths averaged 3.66 per match at Sincil Bank, while Rushmore recorded 2.78.

It’s important to remember with this statistic this is perhaps more of a reflection of Michael Appleton and Matt Taylor/Michael Flynn’s styles of play.

The number one jersey is certainly still up for grabs, despite Alex Bass’ return from Bradford on loan and whoever Cowley elects to sign will be confident of taking the number one shirt.