Alex Palmer backed for West Brom breakthrough

Goalkeeper Alex Palmer has been tipped to break into Albion’s squad next season following his successful loan at Plymouth.

Alex Palmer of West Bromwich Albion (AMA)
Alex Palmer of West Bromwich Albion (AMA)

The 23-year-old, who is from Kidderminster, joined the Pilgrims on a temporary basis back in July and went on to play a starring role in Ryan Lowe’s side winning promotion from League Two.

Palmer registered 14 clean sheets in English football’s fourth tier – more than any other keeper in the division.

But while Lowe would be interested in resigning him for Plymouth’s League One campaign, the boss believes Palmer is destined to be playing higher up the pyramid.

“I’ve had a brief chat with Alex – he has been different class and probably the best goalkeeper in League Two,” the boss said. “If I’m West Brom, he ain’t coming back and we have got to be aware of that. We have got to respect that.

“Alex could find himself in West Brom’s first-team squad next season, whether that’s second choice, third choice, being around it.

“I think he’s back training with them.

“If he goes out on loan again, would he bypass Plymouth Argyle? Probably, yeah.

“Could he go to the Championship? Yeah, 100 per cent. But if the option arose, and he wanted to come back then we would certainly look at it.”

The goalkeeping department is likely to be an area Albion are busy in when the transfer window reopen – no matter which division they are in. Both Jonathan Bond and Ali Al-Habsi are out of contract at the end of the campaign and it is not yet known if Albion will be offering them new deals.

But with Al-Habsi set to turn 39 in December, the Oman international may be considering retirement.

Bond, meanwhile, may feel the time has come to go out and secure a move that will give him a greater chance of starting each week. Since joining the Baggies from Peterborough in 2018, the glovesman hasn’t made a league appearance, with his seven outings having all come in cup competitions.

If, as expected, Al-Habsi and Bond depart, Albion will sign another goalkeeper to compete with Sam Johnstone for the number one jersey. Palmer may then have to a decision as to whether he stays to fight for a place on the bench or go out on loan again to gain more experience.

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