Marcos Alonso signed for Chelsea from Fiorentina on 31 August 2016.
The 25-year-old Spanish left-back, who was the first defender recruited by Antonio Conte, signed a five-year contract.
On signing, Alonso said: ‘I’m very happy. It’s a step up in my career and I think this is the perfect place for me to continue developing. It’s time for me to win some titles.
‘It was an easy decision for me to make when I heard the club were interested in signing me. My family and close friends know Chelsea is the club I have dreamed about playing for so I’m really excited about the challenge and I'm looking forward to working with my new team-mates.’
Marcos Alonso made his 50th start for the Blues in the home win against Manchester United in November 2017.
Alonso was born in Madrid and is the son and grandson of former Spain internationals. He was a youth and B-team player for Real Madrid, before being handed his one first team appearance there by Manuel Pellegrini in April 2010 as a late substitute in a win against Racing Santander.
That summer he joined Bolton Wanderers as a 19-year-old and was a team-mate of Gary Cahill for one-and-a-half years prior to the England international’s move to Chelsea.
Alonso stayed in the north-west for three seasons, two of those in the Premier League, and made 46 appearances, scoring five goals.
After half a season at Fiorentina, he was recruited on loan for the second half of the 2013/14 campaign by Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet, who selected the Spaniard in the League Cup final against Manchester City. Alonso also played in the Sunderland win at Stamford Bridge which ended Jose Mourinho’s 77-game undefeated league run at our stadium. It was his volley that led to the visitors equalising that April day.
Alonso then returned to Fiorentina where he established himself as a regular in the team as a left-back, wing-back or in a back-three. He left La Viola having made 85 appearances and scored five goals.
He made his Chelsea debut in a League Cup win at Leicester in September 2016, and flourished the following month as left wing-back when Conte introduced a 3-4-3 system. The team went through October with a 100 per cent league record and no goals conceded and the good form continued into winter. He became the first player in English football league history to win his first 14 starts for one club, an ever-present in the run that did not end until we visited White Hart Lane at the start of 2017.
Alonso scored his first Chelsea goal in a fantastic team performance on Bonfire Night (5 November) 2016 when Everton were swept aside 5-0. He netted two in a win at Leicester in January 2017 and headed the important opener in an equally crucial home win over Arsenal the following month (below).
The Spaniard continued to look increasingly strong and assured as the Blues closed in on the league title, and he ably demonstrated he could provide a left-footed free-kick threat with a goal at Bournemouth in the April and strikes against the woodwork. One of our new champions ended the season a clear first-choice in the side with six goals scored and impressive defensive performances too.
He started his second season in west London with a bang, scoring both goals in a famous win at Wembley against Tottenham, and by the end of our first game in 2018 he already had six league goals to his name, many of the spectacular variety.
He finished his second campaign with a season-best record of eight goals, and picked up his first FA Cup winners' medal after we defeated Man United. He came as close as anyone to adding to Eden Hazard's penalty, but saw his shot saved by David de Gea.
Alonso's first goal of the current campaign was a big one, the winner at home to Arsenal, and he made his 100th start for the club when we faced Leicester shortly before Christmas.
Having represented Spain at a younger level, Alonso earned a maiden senior call-up in March 2018 and made his debut in their 6-1 friendly win over Argentina, replacing Jordi Alba for the closing stages of the game.
He made his first competitive start for Spain in their UEFA Nations League win over England at Wembley in September 2018.