Steve Bruce wants David Button and Josh Griffiths to fight for West Brom keeper spot
Steve Bruce is not looking for any additions to the West Brom goalkeeping department as he is “very, very happy” with the men in place.
Despite former starter Sam Johnstone leaving this summer to sign for Crystal Palace the Baggies boss believes prospective replacement David Button, as well as youngster Josh Griffiths, offer strong options ahead of the upcoming season.
Button and the third man in the goalkeeper’s room, Alex Palmer, both received contract extensions in May, and Griffiths is thought to be interesting the likes of Portsmouth for another loan deal, but after securing his latest signing in Jed Wallace Bruce is content to let his incumbents in goal battle it out.
“We’ve got an exceptionally good young goalkeeper as well who’s been on loan for a couple of years.
“And Big Butts has done extremely well towards the end, and has got really Championship pedigree and history about him.
“We’re okay in that department, that’s one I’m not looking at at all.
“So it’s up to them to fight it out [for] who’s going to be the number one.”
Palmer didn’t get a mention in the clip, but a new four-year deal this summer won’t have been handed out for no reason so he is surely in the mix.
Griffiths appears to be the one with the most to gain, as the highly-rated 20-year-old has clearly caught his manager’s eye.
Consecutive loans to Cheltenham and then Lincoln have given him extensive senior experience at a young age, and it is surely not beyond the realms of possibility that he surprises everyone to take the number one role.
He will have to get past Button who took over for the conclusion of the 2021/22 season, and all things being equal will keep his place, but if the 33-year-old were to struggle in pre-season and either of the other two were to shine it would be no foregone conclusion.
Griffiths is likely the future at the club, unless a significant transfer offer comes in at sometime in the near future, so it will be interesting to see how much game time he receives in the pre-season, and then if he remains with the first team, what opportunities will be available.
Palmer’s situation is the most interesting as one Carabao Cup appearance and seven loan spells in as many seasons didn’t suggest a glittering future at the club.
But he is confident he has been handed a chance so Albion are set for a fascinating three-way battle between the sticks.
In other West Brom news, a major exit had a message for the club on the way out.