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2018 Player Profiles: Marcus Bettinelli

Is there any other Fulham player that captures their rise from the ashes?

Aston Villa v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Play Off Final Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Basic Stats: 29 appearances | 29 starts | 0 substitutions | 2,610 minutes | 13 clean sheets

Economics: Contract Extension | Signed: 2017 | Contract Ends in Summer 2020 plus a 1-year option

Stats by Seven-Game sequences

All data from whoscored.com & experimental361.com

WhoScored Rating Chart

All data from whoscored.com

Transfermarket Value Chart

From transfermarket.co.uk

CC Thoughts: When Marcus Bettinelli first played for Fulham’s first team, he was a 22-year old hoping to be the answer in goal while Fulham were struggling with life down in the Championship. Fast forward four years later, after so many trials and tribulations, the first of only two academy graduates among the mainstays at the club has become not only the established Number One, but also a Fulham legend. His emphatic celebrations while holding onto a flair that was tossed by one of the “White Wall” at Wembley after clinching Premier League promotion will long live in the memories of supporters for years to come.

But as other seasons have been for him, Bettinelli wasn’t the starter to begin this previous campaign. David Button regained his place due to Bettinelli suffering a hamstring injury in preseason against Wolfsburg. It’s just how Bettinelli’s career has always been. Whether it has been dealing with the challenges of out-performing Button, Andy Lonergan, and even Jesse Joronen during his tenure, the former England Under-21 international has always had to scratch and claw his way towards respectability because he wasn’t deemed good enough.

This season was the year he regained everyone’s trust.

Fulham have given him every opportunity to do so based off of his contract extension that goes until the summer of 2020. But there is no denying that he was able to grab this season by the horns and never let go. The players in front of him and Slavisa Jokanovic’s system play improved as the campaign went along, but it is very difficult to find a better catalyst to guide the club from playoff semifinalists in 2016/17 to gaining promotion in 2017/18.

Since his arrival into the Starting XI, Fuham picked up 62 points out of a possible 78 in the league table, including a historic 23-match unbeaten run that propelled the club to the playoff places, and being able to concede only one goal away to Derby during the entire playoffs. There’s just not that much Bettinelli could have done better.

The real question now is whether he is a good enough goalkeeper to withstand the Premier League. Rumors have come in initially that former Dutch International Tim Krul would replace the now-departed Button as the club’s backup option. Lately, however, it has come out that Besiktas Number One Fabri would be arriving to Craven Cottage to battle it out for the Number One spot. Either way, if there is one player in the club that knows a thing or two about not taking anything for granted, it is Marcus Bettinelli, and he is not afraid to go through more adversity.

Key Stat: 45.4% long ball accuracy. If you are looking at a statistic that further exemplifies how good Bettinelli was by season’s end, look no further than how he developed as a true sweeper keeper. This value will truly be emphasized now that Jordan Pickford’s skillset was on full display this past World Cup. Fortunately, Bettinelli’s passing from long distance was not only a massive upgrade to David Button, but it was easily the best in all of England’s Second Tier. Only Brentford’s David Bentley went on to also start the majority of the Championship season and complete over 40% of his long ball passes (41.4%).

Along with this, Bettinelli has proven to improve upon this statistic every season by going from 33.1% in 2013/14 to as high as 48.8% in his eight-game stint in 2016/17.

Your thoughts: So what are your thoughts on “One of Our Own”. Would you give Bettinelli the chance to prove that he can start the full 38 games in the Premier League in 2018/19? Or would you hope that Tony Kahn and Co. can find an upgrade to the position and fast? Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts on the comment section below.