Thomas Tuchel’s First Chelsea Signing, Marcus Bettinelli, Still Waiting for Premier League Debut
The first player signed by Thomas Tuchel for Chelsea is yet to make his debut in the Premier League and is facing a long wait.
Despite being signed by Thomas Tuchel in July 2021, Marcus Bettinelli, who was the first signing for Chelsea under his management, is still awaiting his debut in the Premier League with the club.
At the end of his contract with Fulham, Bettinelli joined Chelsea as their third-choice goalkeeper on a free transfer in the summer of 2021, which marked Tuchel’s first signing since taking over from Lampard in January. Prior to joining Chelsea, Bettinelli had been on loan at Middlesbrough in the Championship for the 2020-21 season after falling out of favour at Fulham.
Although Bettinelli has yet to make his Premier League debut for Chelsea, he has been a regular presence on the bench in the Champions League, with many teams opting to have two goalkeepers among their substitutes. During his debut season, Bettinelli was named as a substitute in the Premier League on seven occasions but never had the opportunity to play.
Bettinelli’s sole appearance for Chelsea occurred during their 5-1 victory over Chesterfield in the FA Cup third-round in January 2022, where he played the entire 90 minutes. Although Chelsea reached the final in both domestic cup competitions, Bettinelli did not make the match-day squad, despite being a regular on the bench during the earlier rounds.
In the current season, Bettinelli has been frequently named as a substitute, as both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy have suffered from injury issues. However, Bettinelli has yet to play a single minute for Chelsea’s first team this season, despite being a regular presence in the squad. His contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
When Bettinelli first joined Chelsea, he expressed his readiness to step up whenever necessary and looked forward to collaborating with Kepa and Mendy. He stated that despite having played many games in the previous season, he anticipated a different role for himself at Chelsea and was excited about it. He also emphasized his eagerness to learn from others, assist the team to the best of his abilities, and contribute to the collective success of the club.
“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.”