The first interview | Joe Wildsmith

A photo of Albion goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith talking to WBA TV at the club's training ground

Joe Wildsmith says he’s incredibly excited by the opportunity to work with, and challenge, fellow Golden Glove winner Alex Palmer at The Hawthorns.

The 28-year-old stopper has joined the Albion on a two-year deal having kept the most clean sheets in Sky Bet League One during the 2023/24 campaign for Derby County, earning 20 shutouts in 40 third-tier appearances, with Alex clocking up 18 in 46 in the second tier for the Baggies.

Wildsmith, who has also represented Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley in the EFL, is determined to hit the ground running and push Palmer for the solitary starting spot between the sticks in Carlos Corberán’s side. 

The new signing revealed he’s already clicked with the Albion academy graduate and believes a strong working relationship will be hugely beneficial for the team, as well as both individuals.

Joe said: “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 was 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.

“I want to push on, enjoy my football and succeed at this football club. 

“I’m coming here full of confidence having won the Golden Glove last year at Derby. 

“I’ve spoken to Marcos Abad and we’re very aligned in our thoughts of what I’m coming here to do. I want to play football. I want to represent this football club and I can’t wait to get going and get down to work.

A photo of Albion goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith

“I’ve met Alex. He’s a really top lad and we’ve had a really good chat just straight off the bat which was great.

“He had a great season last season too, winning the Golden Glove in the Championship. I know the challenge that lies ahead of me.

“We’re both going to be fighting for that one spot which every goalkeeper does. I can’t wait for the challenge. It’s always great when the other goalkeeper in question is a top lad.

“I think we’re going to enjoy training together and enjoy pushing each other. If we do that, it’s only going to benefit West Bromwich Albion and the team.”

A photo of Albion goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith

Wildsmith highlighted his “presence” in the penalty area and shot-stopping as two of his most impressive attributes.

The goalkeeper said: “I’d like to say one of my biggest strengths as a goalkeeper is my presence. I like to come and get crosses and I like to dominate the box. 

“I’d like to think shot-stopping is another. 

“There were a lot of times where I was called upon last season where there hadn’t been too much for me to do in the game prior to making a save. 

“It’s important to keep your concentration levels up and stay focused as a keeper.”

Joe revealed the move to the West Midlands materialised in no time at all following key conversations with members of Albion’s staff and a former player who departed the club over the summer.

“It all happened really quickly.

A photo of Albion goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith

“I got the call at the back end of last week. The club had contacted my agent saying they were interested and then over the weekend I’ve been speaking to Marcos Abad the goalkeeper coach and Ian Pearce. 

“It was something I really wanted to happen and I wanted to pursue it straight away, especially given the size of the club and the targets that it has. 

“The goals the club have really excited me, so I’m delighted it’s been completed so quickly and I’m delighted to be here. 

“I’m also really close with Adam Reach, who’s obviously just left Albion. 

“He was at my wedding in the summer and there’s been a lot of dialogue between the two of us in the last few days about this club. 

“He had nothing but praise for Albion and his positive words were a big factor in me coming here.”

  • Wildsmith