Making his Marcos
Inside Blue Fri 5 Jan 2018
Marcos Alonso has proven to be one of the Premier League's most potent attacking talents this season, and there are plenty of statistics to back up that fact.
As a player who made his name as a full-back before becoming a key part of Antonio Conte's 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 systems with his performances on the left wing for Chelsea, Alonso's defensive duties have always come first, but he has been showing in 2017/18 that he is just as accomplished at causing the opposition's back line problems as he is at protecting our own.
Our No3 converted fellow wing-back Davide Zappacosta's cross to get our second goal of the 2-2 draw with Arsenal in the 84th minute on Wednesday night, keeping up his prolific recent form by scoring for the third time in his last five appearances, having also found the net against Southampton and Brighton.
That took his tally for this season to an impressive six goals, already matching the previous best total of his career, set last season during his first campaign at Stamford Bridge. That makes him the highest-scoring defender in any of Europe's big five leagues in 2017/18 – the English, Spanish, Italian, German and French top flights – as well as the only defender currently in the top 20 of the Premier League's scoring table.
An all-time Premier League record could also be on the cards if he maintains that impressive rate of goals during the second half of the campaign, with the record for goals by a defender in a single season currently stands at 10, set by West Ham stalwart Julian Dicks in 1995/96. Just four more to go Marcos!
It's not just his finishing that has made Alonso so effective in final third, as since joining Chelsea at the start of last season he has contributed to 16 goals overall, with 12 goals himself combined with four assists, more than any other Premier League defender during that time.
Those 12 goals since returning to England in 2016 means he has found the net on average once every six matches in the Premier League, second only to Dicks again on the all-time list.
To put that into context, the highest scoring defender in Premier League history, former Blues captain John Terry, average a goal every 12 games.
Alonso still has a way to go to match Terry's total of 41 top-flight goals, but he is already in the top 50 and another 10 would see him match Liverpool's Sami Hyypia to enter the top 10.
Our wing-back has also contributed to a truly astounding statistic this season, with his six goals combining with those from Cesar Azpilicueta (one), Cesc Fabregas (one), Alvaro Morata (10), Pedro (four), to mean Spanish players have scored more goals for Chelsea than any other top-flight club in Europe – including in Spain!