This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Birmingham City are facing a challenging situation with their goalkeeping department at the moment and Lee Bowyer is going to potentially need to add in that area soon.
The Blues’ first-choice keeper Neil Etheridge is currently recovering after being hospitalised with Covid-19 while Andres Prieto saw his deal with the club terminated earlier this week.
According to the latest report from The Sun on Sunday (18/07, p61), Birmingham are now registering an interest in securing the arrival of former Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli this summer.
It is believed that the Blues have made contact with the 29-year-old over the possibility of him making the move to St Andrews so that he can provide cover for Etheridge.
So with Birmingham interested in Bettinelli, we asked our FLW writers whether they feel he would be a good signing for the Blues…
I am not sure about this one.
I am not exactly sure if he improves Birmingham. However, The Blues have been thrown into a horrible situation with Neil Etheridge recovering at home after being hospitalised by Covid-19, and it proves a temporary fix.
Despite not feeling entirely sure about this, Bettinelli is a proven goalkeeper in this division and has the ability to challenge a fully-fit Etheridge to the number one spot, but The Blues have an excellent first-choice keeper in the former Cardiff man.
Given Bettinelli’s recent experience, he is surely a goalkeeper who wants to be the main goalkeeping option.
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It’s always good to have two good Championship goalkeepers in your squad, but it can sometimes throw up issues with one getting unhappy that they aren’t getting playing time.
Despite not particularly being convincing for Middlesbrough on loan last season, Bettinelli is still a good stopper at this level and he would definitely give Neil Etheridge some strong competition.
Especially when you consider the fact that Etheridge has been unfortunately hospitalised with COVID, the desperation for Lee Bowyer to bring in a goalkeeper is high, with Wolves’ Matija Sarkic training with the Blues to see if he is good enough to challenge for a starting spot.
Whilst Sarkic hasn’t had a lot of EFL experience, Bettinelli has and managing to snap him up on a free transfer would represent good business from Birmingham City.
You can understand their thinking with this potential deal.
With Neil Etheridge unlikely to be fully-fit during pre-season, Birmingham City could certainly benefit from adding an experienced shot-stopper to their team this summer.
Bettinelli certainly fits that description as well, having played an important role for Fulham in both of their promotion-winning campaigns in recent seasons.
If you’re looking for a goalkeeper that would be somewhat of a risk-free signing with Championship experience, then you’d be hard-pushed to find a much better option than Bettinelli this summer.
It’d be an excellent signing by the Blues if they managed to land his signature.