Express & Star

Joe Wildsmith outlines West Brom target as Carlos Corberan makes "essential" Josh Griffiths point

Goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith has outlined a determination to make the next step in his career having signed on a two-year deal at Albion.

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The 28-year-old League One promotion winner with Derby left Pride Park last term and his linked up at The Hawthorns after the Baggies identified the need to send deputy Josh Griffiths out on loan for important game time.

Wildsmith made 97 appearances in two seasons with the Rams and helped them to an automatic return to the Championship last term, claiming the golden glove aware for 20 clean sheets en route.

Albion academy keeper product Griffiths has joined League One outfit Bristol Rovers on a season-long loan while Wildsmith, also formerly of Sheffield Wednesday, will check in as understudy to Alex Palmer, but is determined to push himself on in the Black Country.

"Coming here was something I really wanted to happen,” Wildsmith said. “I wanted to pursue it straight away, especially given the size of the club and the targets that it has. I’m delighted to be here.

“I’m really pleased to be back in the Championship, especially after last season’s efforts of winning promotion with Derby County.

“I’ve experienced the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday before, so I’ve had that exposure at this level which is great for me.

“I’ve shown what I can do week-in, week-out at Derby County in League One, so this is a really good opportunity to take the next step in my career. I wanted to come to a club of this magnitude and really push myself again.”

Wildsmith is Albion's third new signing of the summer following midfielder Ousmane Diakite from TSV Hartberg and defender Torbjorn Heggem from BP in Sweden.

Baggies boss Carlos Corberan claimed it "essential" that prospect Griffiths went out on loan for minutes this season, opening up an ideal role for Wildsmith.

Griffiths, who penned a two-year contract extension this summer, saw his opportunities reduced to just three cup appearances last term with Palmer an ever-present in the Championship.

He also noted the fact the club now boast the winners of the golden glove from both the Championship and League One in their ranks.

"We felt it was essential for Josh Griffiths to go out on loan this season and in Joe we have a really good goalkeeper coming in," Corberan said.

“To have both the Championship and League One Golden Glove winners in our squad shows that we have excellent quality in this department.”