Report: Southampton eye summer swoop for West Brom product Josh Griffiths
According to Gloucestershire Live, Southampton are plotting a move to sign West Bromwich Albion product Josh Griffiths at the end of the season.
The teenage goalkeeper has piqued the south coast side’s interest with his performances while on loan at Cheltenham Town this term, having kept 21 clean sheets over his 42 appearances.
Griffiths agreed a one-year deal with the League Two outfit last summer and soon established himself as the first-choice option, only missing three of a possible 45 fixtures.
One of his absences came as a result of a maiden England Under 21 call up in March when selected for the European Championship, although he failed to feature as the Young Lions crashed out of the competition in Aidy Boothroyd’s final tournament in charge.
Cheltenham are hopeful of striking a deal with West Brom to retain the 6 ft 6 shot-stopper beyond his temporary spell at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium, having seen Griffiths’ efforts help clinch their automatic promotion to the third-tier.
But a Premier League move may scrub the Robins’ plans, with Southampton sending scouts to observe the youngster in action against Carlisle United last week ahead of their own potential swoop in the off-season.
Any side wishing to sign Griffiths will need to hold discussions with West Brom, with the Baggies’ academy product under contract at The Hawthorns until the summer of 2023.
Southampton showing an interest in Griffiths’ availability just goes to show what sort of talent West Brom have on their hands, and one the Baggies may be reluctant to part with amid speculation linking Sam Johnstone with several Premier League sides (ESPN).
Should the Hawthorns natives be relegated and Johnstone leaves, Griffiths could return to his parent club to take over between the sticks and allow the West Midlands outfit to reinvest their funds elsewhere in the squad in hopes of an immediate top-flight return.
It would be a big step up for Griffiths having never played first-team football higher than the fourth-tier with Cheltenham, where manager Michael Duff has been full of praise for the ‘excellent’ youngster who fully deserved his maiden England U21 call up (ctfc.com).
But his performances at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium have been impressive, so if Johnstone is to depart, West Brom should consider promoting Griffiths rather than cashing in.
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