Friday, September 29, 2023

Chelsea Identify Former Fulham Goalkeeper As Potential Target: A Smart Choice By Tuchel?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to The Athletic, Marcus Bettinelli is a target for Chelsea. The Blues are apparently on the hunt for a third choice goalkeeper next season, with the Englishman emerging as an ideal option. Bettinelli is currently a free agent after seeing out his contract at Fulham, with Chelsea now ready to make a move for him this summer.

Marcus Bettinelli’s Story At Fulham So Far

A native of London, Marcus Bettinelli started his career at Fulham, initially getting his promotion to the senior side back in 2012. However, he had to make an impression during a loan spell at Accrington Stanley in 2013/14 before becoming the club’s first-choice ‘keeper in 2014/15.

Since then, Bettinelli has made a total of 120 appearances for Fulham. Unfortunately, in recent years, the goalkeeper has fallen out of favour, with the Cotaggers preferring Alphonso Areola in goal last season. As a result, the 29-year-old had to play for Middlesbrough during the 2020/21 campaign.

Quite astonishingly, despite being a part of the Fulham side for a long time, Bettinelli only has seven Premier League games under his belt. His recent struggles also saw him leave the club in the summer, following the expiry of his contract.

The Englishman is now looking for a new club, as he hopes to restart his career after a long spell at Craven Cottage. Given his experience in English football, he shouldn’t face too many difficulties finding a suitor, with Chelsea becoming the latest club to express interest.

Marcus Bettinelli is a target for Chelsea - Does he have what it takes?
Barnsley v Middlesbrough Sky Bet Championship Middlesbrough goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli during the Sky Bet Championship match at Oakwell, Barnsley PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxCHN Copyright: xRussellxHartx FIL-15413-0040

Is Bettinelli A Good Option For Chelsea?

Chelsea are going through a summer of change, as Thomas Tuchel looks to build his own setup, following a successful end to the 2020/21 campaign. Last summer’s key signing Edouard Mendy has already established himself as a first-choice regular, but the Blues are in a precarious situation when it comes to Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Spaniard clearly has no chance of thwarting Mendy in between the sticks. Chelsea may find it difficult to sell the goalkeeper due to his wage demands and overall valuation. But should they manage to offload the former Athletic Bilbao custodian, Marcus Bettinelli could be an excellent option, as far as the backup of Mendy is concerned.

With 137 appearances in the Championship, the 29-year-old has a considerable amount of experience in English football. His tall 1.94m frame also offers Chelsea some variety in the goalkeeping department.

Most importantly, Bettinelli’s arrival should make a lot of sense for the Blues from a financial perspective. He is available for free and shouldn’t command a hefty wage packet, which, combined with the departure of Kepa, should serve as a massive economic boost for the club as they look to land some high-profile targets in the market this summer.

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