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Glenn Murray is responsible for Marcus Bettinelli’s surprising England call-up

Gareth Southgate brought the Fulham keeper into the squad for games against Spain and Switzerland

From the Championship play-offs, to a Premier League penalty save to the England senior squad.

Marcus Bettinelli has had one heck of a journey in the past five months.

At the start of the season Bettinelli was behind summer signing Fabri in the Fulham pecking order, but was brought in after two defeats from the first two games.

When your phone is ringing and it’s Southgate

PA:Press Association
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When your phone is ringing and it’s Southgate

Just as Bettinelli was contemplating what he might do with his weekend off for the international break he would have seen a phone call from a certain Mr. G Southgate and realised he could cancel his plans for Butlins.

The 26-year-old has been solid if not spectacular for the Cottagers this season so it would’ve been somewhat of a surprise to get the call.

But he joins up with the squad to bolster the goalkeeping options alongside Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Alex McCarthy.

And in a strange twist of fate, Bettinelli owes his first England call-up to Brighton’s veteran striker Glenn Murray.


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Suddenly all England keepers are penalty-saving experts

Getty Images - Getty
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Suddenly all England keepers are penalty-saving experts

But how on earth could that be the case, I sense you ask.

This weekend Fulham went to Brighton in search of their second win of the season.

After 24 minutes Brighton were handed a penalty and despite Murray, known for his unerring accuracy from the spot, being on the pitch, Pascal Gross took responsibility.

The German had only just scored his last two from the spot and this time Bettinelli sprawled to his right to claw the ball out.

And as if to emphasise why Gross shouldn’t have taken it even more, Murray scored an absolute ripper from the spot to equalise after going 2-0 down.

No chance with that one

Reuters
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No chance with that one

It was Murray’s generosity in allowing Gross to take the penalty, which gave Bettinelli the chance to save the shot which eventually convinced Southgate to hand the goalkeeper a call-up to the senior side.

Are you still following?

Bettinelli’s rise should not be understated, in May he was 90 minutes from another season in the Championship.

But a clean sheet against Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final saw Fulham win promotion and now he’s part of the England set-up.

Tuesday afternoons don’t get much better.


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