For all the talk about Fulham’s array of talented attacking players, from midfield maestro Tom Cairney and wonder-kid Ryan Sessegnon to the prolific Aleksandar Mitrovic, goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli has gone somewhat under the radar outside Craven Cottage.
In West London, however, Bettinelli gets the credit his performances deserve.
The 25-year-old shot-stopper appears to have established himself ahead of David Button as Slavisa Jokanovic’s number one since the turn of the year and has rewarded his manager with a series of excellent performances while earning admiring glances from outside the Championship.
The Sun stated earlier this month that West Ham manager David Moyes was impressed by Bettinelli after watching Fulham beat Leeds United 2-0, with the one-time England U21 international potentially lined up to be the Hammers’ new number one.
Long-serving Adrian has been linked with a return to Real Betis by AS, while the chances of Joe Hart staying after his loan from Manchester City expires were not helped by another howler in the 1-1 draw with Stoke City on Monday night.
So West Ham fans should hope Moyes was keeping a close eye on Bettinelli again as Fulham drew 1-1 with Brentford in the Championship on Saturday.
Despite conceding a 93rd-minute equaliser, Bettinelli was impressive against the Bees and was rewarded with the fans’ Man of the Match award – the fifth time he has received the accolade this season.
If Fulham miss out on promotion, expect West Ham to try to tempt their goalkeeper across the capital.