Aston Villa are keen on signing goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli this summer, according to the Daily Mail.
The 29-year-old is available on a free transfer after his contract at Fulham expired last month. He spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Middlesbrough, helping the side to a top-half finish in the Championship.
Now, Villa have reportedly moved for him, as they look to bolster their goalkeeping options ahead of next season. Emiliano Martinez is the current undisputed No. 1, while Jed Steer is on hand to provide cover following the departure of Tom Heaton to Manchester United earlier this month.
However, landing Bettinelli may not be a straightforward task for Villa, as he is also being tracked by Chelsea and Arsenal.
Should the Villans get a deal across the line, would Bettinelli be a good addition to their squad?
GIVEMESPORT's Sam Brookes, Christy Malyan and Joshua Cole give their thoughts below...
"Signing Bettinelli would represent a significant downgrade on what Dean Smith had at his disposal last year when he could call upon Heaton to act as a back-up option to Martinez.
"Heaton is a proven Premier League class goalkeeper, having made 116 appearances for Burnley and Villa in the top-flight. Bettinelli, on the other hand, is not.
"The last time he played in England's top division, Bettinelli conceded 20 goals in seven matches for Fulham, failing to keep a clean sheet in this time. That is a desperately poor record.
"The 6 foot 4 shot-stopper has played 137 games in the Championship and that appears to be his level. If Martinez were to be unavailable for some reason next season, Villa need someone who can come in and be trusted to do a solid job in his absence. Bettinelli's resume suggests that he will not be up to the task at hand."
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"Bettinelli may not be the most exciting signing Aston Villa make this summer but ultimately, back-up goalkeepers are always a question of cost-effectiveness.
"He's played in the Premier League before, albeit making only seven appearances, and has over 100 Championship outings to his name. So in terms of experience, he's probably a better choice as Emi Martinez's understudy than a youngster still learning their trade.
"Speaking of Martinez, it seems incredibly unlikely he'll be dropped any time soon after a phenomenal debut campaign that saw him clinch the Player of the Season award at Villa Park. Villa don't need someone breathing down his neck - they need a trusted pair of hands for cup games and if the worst happens in terms of an injury to their No.1.
"Admittedly, should Martinez be out for an extended period, it ultimately remains to be seen how good a job Bettinelli would do in the top-flight.
"But as things stand and barring that kind of catastrophe, I think signing Bettinelli on a free transfer would be a shrewd piece of business for Villa."
"Although Villa may need to draft in a replacement for Tom Heaton following the shot-stopper's move to Manchester United, they ought to steer well clear of swooping for Bettinelli as signing him would be a backwards move by the club.
"Whereas the shot-stopper did illustrate some signs of promise in the Championship last season by keeping 13 clean sheets for Middlesbrough, the jury is still out on whether he is good enough to feature in the Premier League as he has only made seven appearances at this level during his career.
"Furthermore, with Martinez set to line-up as Villa's first-choice keeper next season, it could be argued that Bettinelli may not be be able to provide him with the competition that he needs to improve as a player.
"Keeping this in mind, it could be argued that instead of moving for the former Fulham man, Dean Smith ought to switch his focus to drafting in an individual who knows exactly what it takes to thrive in this division."
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