West Brom set for goalkeeper battle as Alex Palmer joins David Button with new contract
West Brom goalkeeper Alex Palmer has signed a new four-year contract at the Hawthorns and will battle David Button to be starter, The Athletic reports.
Hot on the heels of the news that Button had agreed a two-year extension, his fellow back-up to the exiting Sam Johnstone has also committed.
Despite being at the club since the age of 14 the 25-year-old has only made a single League Cup appearance, but is finally set for a chance to claim the starting spot.
According to Steve Madeley in The Athletic Button is the “clear front runner” to be Steve Bruce’s first choice, but Palmer appears to be confident in his chances.
The current third choice has spent time on loan at Luton, Lincoln, Plymouth, Notts County and Oldham over the last four seasons.
He said via The Athletic: “I want to be playing and I want to be No.1 for the start of next season. That’s my aim and I haven’t signed a new contract to sit here and be comfortable.
“I want to be pushing and I know ‘Butts’ will be pushing me.
“With the contract I’ve been given I’ve obviously been backed by the coaching staff so I just need to go out there and prove myself.
“I’m pushing to be No.1 because I’ve been at this club for a while and it’s my club. I’ve come through the ranks and I want to be that first goalkeeper to break into the team and I definitely feel I’ve got the ability to do that.”
May the best man win
Palmer could have been primed for an exit with the news that Button was in line to assume Johnstone’s role, especially in light of the news that the club were interested in Chelsea’s Nathan Baxter as well (TEAMtalk).
But he clearly believes now is his time to make a proper impression at the club he has been at since he was a boy.
He made a combined 99 appearances in the second and third tiers in the previous two seasons, but just three this campaign with two on emergency loan at Luton to go with his solitary Baggies outing.
But it is all change this summer as incumbent Johnstone looks to be heading to the Premier League on a free transfer.
With money to spend at a premium it appears that Bruce has looked at what he’s already got and decided to give them the first opportunity.
Button has performed reasonably well in his late-season audition, but Palmer must have shown enough in training for coaches to believe he is worth the long-term commitment.
It presumably means there won’t be a summer signing brought in to compete for the top job, unless he has misread his prospects, because he surely would not have signed up for four more years as third-choice.
In other West Brom news, Bruce wants two sought-after Championship free agents this summer.
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