According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, Marcus Bettinelli could be set for a move away this summer. The 26-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League side Fulham and has done so since 2011, going on to appear 98 times for the Cottagers, 29 of which coming last season in the Championship to help Slavisa Jokanovic’s men win promotion via the play-offs.
Yet the goalkeeper wasn’t even named on the bench for their 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in their opening league game on Saturday to suggest that he is not in Jokanovic’s plans, which is news that should be of interest to Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United, who themselves may feel that another shot-stopper is needed to aid in their promotion bid.
Ultimately, last season in particular was a testing one for Leeds goalkeepers given both Andy Lonergan and Felix Wiedwald struggled to convince of their capabilities, with both given the chance by Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom, only for 21-year-old Bailey Peacock-Farrell to finish the season between the sticks.
And with messrs Lonergan and Wiedwald having left Elland Road over the summer, and Jamal Blackman the only goalkeeper brought in by the club so far, it’s clear that another option would be ideal in a bid to have three accomplished shot-stoppers at the Yorkshire outfit – Bettinelli would certainly fall into that category.
The 26-year-old may have taken his time to prove his credentials between the sticks at Craven Cottage, with injury one reason for his difficulties, but he more than proved his worth last term in helping Jokanovic’s men win promotion to the Premier League.
The former England Under-21 international didn’t begin the season as the Cottagers’ number one, but he usurped the gloves from David Button back in December and didn’t look back in starting all of their remaining Championship fixtures, shipping just 19 goals and keeping 12 clean sheets in 26 regular season appearances.
And with two clean sheets in their three play-off matches, including in the final victory over Aston Villa, it’s clear that Bettinelli has genuine pedigree at second tier level, and would also bring a know-how in getting the job done to a Leeds team that, in the last two seasons, have failed to sustain a promotion push.
Whether he would dislodge Peacock-Farrell from the side in the immediate remains to be seen, but there is no doubting that the £2.7 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) would be an ideal addition to Bielsa’s squad to thus provide further competition in the goalkeeping ranks.
And having someone who has been there and done it before can only aid with Leeds’ own bid to win promotion this season.
Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!