Birmingham City are reportedly eyeing a move for former Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli, according to Alan Nixon in The Sun on Sunday (18th July 2021, page 61)
What’s the story?
Bettinelli is currently a free-agent after his time with Fulham came to an end upon the conclusion of his contract at Craven Cottage.
The 29-year-old shot-stopper made 120 appearances in total for the London-based club, but found regular minutes hard to come by with the Cottagers towards the end of his time with them.
He spent part of the 2020/21 season out on loan with Championship side Middlesbrough, and made 42 appearances for Neil Warnock’s side, as they finished tenth in the second-tier standings.
Birmingham City are reportedly eyeing a move for Bettinelli this summer, as they look to solve their temporary problem between the posts.
It’s a smart move
The Blues finished 18th in the Championship table last term, and there were positives to take for the club’s supporters, after some improved displays towards the end of that league campaign.
They had previously been in serious danger of being relegated into the third-tier of English football, and Lee Bowyer will be hoping to see his side make a positive start to the new Championship season.
He could be facing a dilemma ahead of their season opener against Sheffield United on Saturday 7th August though, with current first-choice goalkeeper Neil Etheridge recently being released from hospital after being struck with Covid-19.
Would Bettinelli be a good signing?
It remains to be seen as to when the shot-stopper will return to training, but it’s far from ideal preparation during pre-season for Bowyer.
So it makes sense for the Blues to target another goalkeeper this summer, and Bettinelli could turn out to be a smart signing by Birmingham City.
The goalkeeper played an important role in both of Fulham’s promotion-winning seasons in 2017/18 and 2019/20, but he hasn’t been given the opportunity to impress much in the Premier League with the Cottagers.
But for Championship standard, Bettinelli has certainly shown that he can perform to a more than good enough standard for a team that are challenging for promotion into the top-flight.
He stands at 6 foot 3, and kept 14 clean sheets from his 30 appearances in Fulham’s 2017/18 promotion-winning campaign, and you’d fancy him to replicate those impressive showings whilst with Bowyer’s men.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Birmingham City making a surprise push for promotion into the Premier League this term, with Bowyer already making a number of additions to his squad, with the likes of Ryan Woods, Chuks Aneke and Tahith Chong being among those to arrive at St. Andrew’s this summer.
If Bettinelli was to follow them through the door, then it could turn out to be a shrewd move by Bowyer, especially as he’s got proven success in the second tier and would not cost a penny.