It’s been a promising month for West Brom’s goalkeepers, as both Sam Johnstone and Josh Griffiths have been called up for their respective England squads.
The Baggies no.1 was an injury replacement for Jordan Pickford in Gareth Southgate’s latest squad, whilst the 19-year-old starlet has been named alongside Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher for the U21 squad.
Both could lead a different path at the Hawthorns this summer.
Given Albion’s likely relegation to the Championship – only a shock turnaround will stop that from happening – the 27-year-old has been linked with several top-flight teams after a string of impressive performances between the sticks.
That has clearly culminated in international recognition.
Recent reports have surfaced linking Tottenham Hotspur with a move for the former Manchester United graduate ahead of the summer transfer window, as per The Sun.
Indeed, it will likely be hard for West Brom to keep hold of him.
Perhaps, then, his successor can be found in Griffiths.
The teenage glovesman has been impressing on-loan to League Two promotion hopefuls Cheltenham Town, undoubtedly helping them towards having the third-best defensive record in the division with 17 clean sheets in 35 starts.
Griffiths was only part of the Three Lions’ U19 set-up as recently as November so that only shows how quickly he has progressed this campaign.
Ex-Albion star Boaz Myhill, now development coach at the club, has spoken glowingly about the 19-year-old shot-stopper. He told BirminghamLive:
“One of his biggest strengths, not just that he’s a good player, is that he’s the kind of boy and man that people will do things for. Everybody likes Josh. It’s all credit to him that he’s having the season that he is,” before adding: “He’s got undoubted ability. I saw that when he was training with me as a player, when he was 16. He’s just continued to grow.”
It says a lot that he’s managed to push out a seasoned veteran in Scott Flinders, who has played over 550 times in his career and given the uncertainty between the sticks heading into the summer, Luke Dowling could save the club millions by pushing the manager to promote Griffiths next season.
He’s doing exactly what’s asked of him, and that’s all he can do for now. If Johnstone leaves, then the Baggies already have his long-term heir at the club.