Western Daily Press

Cheltenham may face competitio­n for ‘keeper

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CHELTENHAM Town are keen to retain the loan services of West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Josh Griffiths next season, writes Jon Palmer.

But the Robins’ hopes of bringing the 6ft 6in 19-year-old back for their first League Two campaign since 2008/09 may hinge on interest from Premier League club Southampto­n.

The Saints are believed to be interestin­g in signing the Ledbury-based prospect, who has kept 21 clean sheets in 43 League Two appearance­s for Cheltenham this term, helping them secure automatic promotion for the first time as a Football League club. Griffiths received his first England Under-21 call-up as part of the Young Lions’ squad for the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championsh­ips in March, which ruled him out of Cheltenham’s 1-0 defeat at Morecambe. The only other league match he has missed this season was the 2-1 win at Carlisle United in November, when he was with the

Under-20s. On both occasions, Scott Flinders deputised between the posts. Griffiths was watched by Southampto­n scouts during Cheltenham’s 1-1 draw with Carlisle United last Tuesday, which secured their top-three finish with two matches to play. They were beaten 1-0 at Newport County on Saturday, but a win over Harrogate Town at home this weekend will secure the title. Griffiths’ contract at West Brom runs until the summer of 2023.

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