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Andy Wilcox claims West Brom goalkeeper Josh Griffiths wants Cheltenham return after loan transfer

Cheltenham Chairman Andy Wilcox has claimed – via Gloucestershire Live – that West Brom goalkeeper Josh Griffiths wants to return to the club after enjoying his time on loan.

Griffiths spent the 2020/21 season at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium and enjoyed a regular run of minutes under manager Michael Duff. The 19-year-old started all 44 of his League Two appearances and kept 21 clean sheets to help clinch the title.

The Baggies product is still waiting for his senior debut at the Hawthorns but trained with the first-team throughout 2019/20. He also signed a four-year contract in September 2019, keeping him at the club for a potential 13 years after first joining aged 10.

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His immediate future may be away from West Brom, though. Wilcox believes Griffiths is hopeful of securing a return to Cheltenham, who want to seal a second loan spell.

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“Firstly, he wants to come back to Cheltenham, which is the most important thing,” he said. “He really enjoyed it here. I watched him from game one to his last of the season and he’s improved no end.

“He’s just got better and better, so credit to Booky [Steve Book, goalkeeping coach] for giving him confidence. He has a big future, that lad.”

Griffiths desires to return to Cheltenham could come as a blow for Southampton. The Saints are interested in signing the teenage shot-stopper this summer after impressing in League Two. Aidy Boothroyd also awarded him his first England U21 call-up in March.

TBR’s view: West Brom should let Griffiths go on loan

Cheltenham have clearly been impressed by what Griffiths achieved during his season on loan from West Brom. Cutting a regular role in their promotion push should now stand him in good stead for a place in their League One efforts next term.

He also importantly enjoyed his time at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium and wants to return ahead of the third-tier campaign.

Getting regular minutes at a higher level should be all West Brom need to sanction another loan deal for Griffiths. At 19 and under contract until 2023, the Baggies do not need to rush the youngster into their first-team.

Instead, he can continue to prove himself in a setting where manager Duff has been full of praise. The Robins boss lauded Griffiths for delivering ‘excellent’ performances earlier this season (ctfc.com) and should continue praising him next term.

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