Marcos Alonso signed for Chelsea from Fiorentina in August 2016.
The Spanish left-back, who was the first defender recruited by Antonio Conte, penned a five-year contract. At 6ft 2in, he is an aerial threat in both boxes and his sweet left foot has proved particularly deadly from set-piece and open-play situations.
Alonso made his Chelsea debut in a League Cup win at Leicester in September, 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 winning 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) when Everton were swept aside 5-0. He netted two in a win at Leicester in January and headed the important opener in an equally crucial home win over Arsenal the following month.
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.
Alonso 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.
The Spaniard finished his second campaign with a season-best record of eight goals, and picked up his first FA Cup winners' medal after we defeated Manchester United at Wembley. He came as close as anyone to adding to Eden Hazard's penalty, but saw his shot saved by David de Gea.
Marcos Alonso made his 50th start for the Blues in the home win against Manchester United in November 2017.
Alonso's first goal of his third campaign was a big one, the winner at home to Arsenal, and he made his 100th Chelsea appearance in a win at Brighton before Christmas.
Competing with a spot at left-back with Emerson Palmieri, Alonso made 39 appearances in total. He scored four goals, the last two proving particularly important: a late winner away to Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-final first leg, and the equaliser against top-four rivals Man United at Old Trafford. That result went a long way to securing a third-place finish domestically.
Our number three featured 29 times in total in Frank Lampard's maiden season in charge, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Emerson sharing left-back duties with him at times, though his penchant for crucial goals remained.
It was Alonso's drive from the edge of the box that sealed an important three points at home to Newcastle in October before the Spaniard continued his handy habit of netting against our north London rivals when he netted what proved to be the winner in a 2-1 victory over Jose Mourinho's Tottenham at Stamford Bridge in February.
A week later, his brace on the South Coast earned us a point at Bournemouth and gave him the accolade of having scored more goals than any other defender in the Premier League since his arrival at Chelsea.
Alonso started our first two games of the season, against Brighton and Liverpool, but was one of many below par in the third at West Brom and was taken off at half-time with the Blues 3-0 down.
It proved his final involvement until Thomas Tuchel’s second game in charge in late January. The new boss’s preference for a 3-4-3 shape suited Alonso, who had thrived in a left wing-back role under Conte. He started against Burnley and capped an impressive performance with a superb goal to seal a 2-0 victory. After controlling a chipped Christian Pulisic pass on his chest and then thigh, he crashed a volley high into the net.
Alonso would feature in over half of our remaining league fixtures, as well as starting the FA Cup final and playing every minute of our impressive Champions League round of 16 victory over Atletico Madrid.
His major individual contribution at the back end of the season was pivotal in us reaching the top four. Just seconds remained when he forced home Timo Werner’s centre away to Manchester City, securing a 2-1 victory and providing further evidence of his happy knack of scoring at big moments against big teams.
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 Gus 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.
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 two competitive starts for Spain in their 2018/19 UEFA Nations League campaign, both in matches against England, winning the first at Wembley 2-1 before suffering defeat in the return fixture in Seville.
- 5 APPEARANCES
- 446 MINUTES PLAYED
- 5 GAMES STARTED
- 1 GOALS
1 ASSISTS 5 CROSSES 11 CHANCES CREATED
70%TACKLE SUCCESS 10 TOTAL TACKLES 7 TACKLES WON