Goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli has today joined Chelsea Football Club.
Bettinelli arrives having been out of contract at Fulham, and he will add strength to our goalkeeping resources following the departure of Willy Caballero.
The 6ft 4in keeper spent over a decade at Craven Cottage, making 120 appearances for the Whites, and also represented the England Under-21 team earlier in his career.
On signing a two-year contract at Stamford Bridge, Bettinelli said: ‘It’s always been a special club. I know the area very well so it’s been a dream of mine to come over to this side and it’s finally happened. There were some talks a few years ago when I was a bit younger and for whatever reason that didn’t come about but I’m here now.
‘I’m really excited to be involved and looking forward to trying to impress and help the team as much as I can.’
Bettinelli started his career at Fulham at the age of 14 and progressed through the ranks before making his club debut at the start of the 2014/15 season following their relegation to the Championship.
Prior to that, he had spent time on loan in non-league with Dartford and in League Two at Accrington Stanley, gaining experience of senior football as a developing goalkeeper and winning the Young Player of the Year award at the Crown Ground.
Following the departure of David Stockdale in the summer of 2014, Bettinelli returned to the Cottage and established himself as Fulham’s first-choice keeper, making 45 appearances in all competitions and earning international recognition with a maiden call-up to the England Under-21s squad.
Despite starting 2015/16 as the club’s number one, the Londoner picked up a knee ligament injury in the third game of the campaign and was sidelined for seven months. He returned in March and was back between the posts for the final nine games of the season, though Fulham’s promotion prospects continued to struggle as they finished the term 20th.
While featuring less the following season, Bettinelli did play in both legs of the play-off semi-final against Reading as the Whites fell just short but made amends 12 months later when Slavisa Jokanovic’s side finally sealed a Premier League return with victory over Aston Villa. His efforts were particularly important during those season-defining games, with Fulham keeping three clean sheets in three play-off matches.
Back in the Premier League, Bettinelli made his top-flight debut in a 4-2 victory against Burnley in August 2018, the start of a run of seven straight league starts. The first international break of the season saw the goalkeeper’s form rewarded with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad, an achievement he repeated the following month in October, albeit without making an appearance for the Three Lions.
Yet after a promising start to the season, six games without a win meant Sergio Rico took the gloves for the remainder of the campaign. The Whites only won seven league games and received an immediate return ticket to the Championship.
A further 14 appearances followed in 2019/20 as injury disrupted his flow once again before he spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, making 42 appearances and keeping 13 clean sheets for a side that finished 10th in the second tier.