Marcus Bettinelli is going on 24 months as a Chelsea player, during which time he’s made exactly one competitive appearance. That’s not entirely unsurprising given that he joined as the third-choice goalkeeper, and has served dutifully as such backing up Édouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga (in either order).
What is however quite surprising is that Bettinelli has agreed a new three-year (3!) with Chelsea today, signing on until “at least” 2026! Huh?
“It is a privilege to be at a club like Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, and a couple of years ago when I signed I was delighted to be here, delighted to sign. To be here now and see the club going through this transition and seeing what we are developing, it is amazing to be a part of and I am buzzing to be here for an extra couple of years.”
-Marcus Bettinelli; source: Chelsea FC
While Bettinelli’s extension makes sense as a safety net due to the uncertain futures of Kepa and Édou — both in the final 18 months of their contracts and possibly leaving, certainly in the latter’s case — we have a massive pipeline of young goalkeeping talent just ready to be given their proper chances (Gaga Slonina, Nathan Baxter, and so on). And while I’m sure it’s nice to have a solid proven veteran like Betts around, surely he would want to be the feature goalkeeper at age 30, no?
Oh well. His decision, his career, and certainly no detriment to the team. By all indications he’s been a wonderful teammate and a bit of a glue-guy in the dressing room, and that’s always important in any successful outfit.
Congrats, Marcus! Here’s to better days ahead!