Thomas Tuchel’s first Chelsea signing still waiting to make premier league debut
Thomas Tuchel’s first signing at Chelsea is still to make his Premier League debut for the club. Marcus Bettinelli joined the Blues in July 2021 but is yet to feature in the top flight.
Bettinelli left Fulham at the end of his contract earlier that summer. He was snapped up on a free transfer to become the third-choice goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge.
It was the first acquisition Tuchel had made since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard late in the January window. Bettinelli had spent the previous campaign on loan at Middlesbrough in the Championship after falling out of favour at Fulham.
He was a regular on the bench in the Champions League, with teams often choosing to select two goalkeepers among the substitutes. Bettinelli was on the bench in the Premier League on seven occasions in his debut campaign but was never needed to come on.
His only appearance came in the FA Cup third-round win over Chesterfield in January 2022. He played the whole 90 minutes as the Blues won 5-1.
Chelsea made it to the final of both domestic cup competitions but Bettinelli did not make the match-day squad despite being a regular on the bench in the earlier rounds. This season, Bettinelli has featured heavily on the bench.
Kepa Arrizabalaga and, in particular, Edouard Mendy have had injury issues. Mendy has not played since the World Cup after fracturing his finger in training.
But despite being a regular in the squad, Bettinelli is yet to play a single minute for the first team this term. His contract expires at the end of the season.
Upon his arrival at Chelsea, Bettinelli insisted he was ready to be called upon when needed. And he was looking forward to working alongside Kepa and Mendy.
He said: “I played a lot of games last season and now I’m sure there will be a different role for me but I’m excited for it. I’m going to try to learn as much as I can, help the team as much as I can and do everything in my power to benefit everyone else.
“It was important that I played a lot of games last season. It kept me sharp and if I’m ever needed this season then I’ll be ready.
“I’m excited to work with those two top-class goalkeepers and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from them both. One of the biggest reasons for joining Chelsea is I’ve still got a lot to give.”