On Thursday, Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli signed a contract extension at the club.
Yet for some Fulham supporters, the news was overshadowed by the looming presence of goalkeeper Sergio Rico, the Sevilla loanee and Europa League-winner who has yet to play a Premier League match for Fulham.
Supporters frustrated with Bettinelli’s performances have been calling for the Spaniard to get the nod in goal, yet such a move would be a counterproductive measure that would simply increase the instability and lack of consistency in Fulham’s defence.
Firstly, Bettinelli is not to blame for the Whites’ defensive disaster. The vast majority of goals conceded by Fulham have been the back four’s fault, and the Englishman has produced a number of outstanding saves to keep the scores close this season.
Questions can be asked over Bettinelli’s diving, especially in the Arsenal and Cardiff matches, but the reality of the situation is that any goalkeeper would leak goals for fun when playing behind Fulham’s dreadful backline.
In addition, dropping Bettinelli for Rico would yet again lead to a different back five for the Cottagers, contributing to more selection chaos in a squad that desperately needs a consistent starting XI.
And furthermore, there is no guarantee Rico will be a better option than Bettinelli, as his brief cameos in the League Cup tell us little about how he would far in the Premier League.
Nevertheless, Rico could prove to be an improvement in goal for Fulham, but the Whites must stick with Bettinelli against Bournemouth in order to maintain some semblance of defensive consistency for the vital home match.