Chelsea have announced their first signing of the summer transfer window, with Marcus Bettinelli penning a two-year contract with the Blues.
Chelsea have made an official statement to confirm that they have secured the services of Marcus Bettinelli. The 29-year-old English goalkeeper arrives at Stamford Bridge on a free transfer and has committed his next two years to the west London outfit, signing a contract that runs until June 30, 2023.
Bettinelli had been a free agent following the expiration of his contract with Fulham, who chose not to hand him a new deal. The English shot stopper is an academy graduate of the south London club and spent a decade and a half at Craven Cottage. However, he was only the first-choice goalkeeper in two seasons.
The 29-year-old even spent three campaigns away from the Cottagers, including last term, wherein he was on loan at Middlesbrough. At Fulham, Bettinelli amassed 120 appearances, keeping 31 clean sheets in the process. Upon his release from Fulham, though, he had been courting interest from some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, with Chelsea at the front of the queue of suitors.
The interest from Chelsea did not come as a surprise despite the presence of Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizbalaga in the first-team setup. The Blues, though, needed a new third-choice goalkeeper following the departure of Willy Caballero at the end of his deal at Stamford Bridge.
Welcome, Marcus! ? pic.twitter.com/YSQ2OtlQtr
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 28, 2021
In the current climate borne out of the coronavirus pandemic, having deep squads is imperative, which is why clubs are prioritising having three solid goalkeepers in the first-team squad. To that end, Chelsea made quick progress in pursuit of Bettinelli and have now tied him to a two-year deal. Upon completing the switch to the west London club, Bettinelli was visibly excited.
The 29-year-old 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 is the maiden signing made by Chelsea in the summer transfer window and it will be interesting to see if he is the first of many to arrive at Stamford Bridge this summer, just like last summer. While he is unlikely to feature regularly for Chelsea, the Blues will hope he comes good whenever required, as the Englishman begins a new phase in his career.