Getting to know you | Joe Wildsmith

A photo of Albion goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith

Joe Wildsmith’s arrival at West Bromwich Albion adds both experience and ability to the goalkeeping ranks.

The 28-year-old has joined the Baggies on a two-year-contract and will be fighting for the solitary slot in between the sticks at The Hawthorns with last season’s Sky Bet Championship Golden Glove winner, Alex Palmer. 

A photo of Albion goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith

Born in Sheffield, the stopper signed his first professional contract with Wednesday at the age of 17, penning a two-and-a-half year deal in November 2013 after impressing in the Owls’ youth team. 

His first taste of senior football came at Alfreton Town in the Conference, playing twice for the Reds in April 2014.

The following season, Wildsmith earned another loan move. This time, his destination was Oakwell, the home of Wednesday’s Yorkshire rivals Barnsley. He played two matches for the Tykes in League One at the back end of the 2014/15 term.

Joe’s first appearance for the Owls’ first team was in August 2015 as a 19-year-old – a thumping 4-1 triumph at Hillsborough against Mansfield Town in the opening round of the League Cup. Two weeks later, he kept his first clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Bolton Wanderers in the Championship. 

During the 2015/16 season, Wildsmith played a total of 14 games for his club and earned impressive shutouts against Premier League sides Newcastle United and Arsenal in the League Cup.

A photo of Albion goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith playing against Arsenal for former club Sheffield Wednesday

He had to be patient and watch on from the bench for the majority of the year in 2016/17, playing just three games in all competitions with Kieran Westwood serving as Carlos Carvalhal’s first-choice stopper.

However, the Portuguese boss handed Joe a five-year contract in the summer of 2017 and he went on to play 29 times across three competitions that season following an injury to Westwood. 

The 2018/19 campaign, unfortunately for Albion’s new man, was very similar to the 2016/17 one and saw opportunities limited – appearing just twice across the whole term. 

Chances remained limited for the goalkeeper the following season until the outbreak of COVID-19. Joe played the final nine games under then gaffer Garry Monk behind-closed-doors for Wednesday between June and July of 2020.

There was disappointment for both Wildsmith and Wednesday in May 2021 as they suffered relegation to the third tier. The stopper made just eight appearances in all competitions during the 2021/22 term and ended his stay with the Owls after rejecting a new contract. 

A photo of Albion goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith playing for former club Sheffield Wednesday

He went on to sign a two-year deal with Derby County and played every single minute of their league, Carabao Cup and Emirates FA Cup matches in his maiden year, with the Rams narrowly missing out on a play-off spot. 

His incredible run of 4,638 consecutive league minutes for the East Midlanders was brought to an end when he received a red card in their contest against Bolton Wanderers in early September of 2023. 

Joe’s 20 clean sheets in Sky Bet League One was the most in the division last season, a record which earned him the Golden Glove trophy. 

A photo of Joe Wildsmith with the League One Golden Glove Award for then club Derby County

Wildsmith, who has also been capped at U20 level by England, made 97 appearances in total for the Rams before making the switch to Albion.

He arrives at The Hawthorns having played just shy of 200 matches in senior football and will be determined to push beyond the double century as soon as possible. 

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