Who the hell is Marcos Alonso?
Chelsea have been actively reinforcing their defence as the transfer window draws to a close, and have brought Marcos Alonso to Stamford Bridge on a permanent deal.
But just who is the Spanish full-back arriving in west London? Here are some essentials.
Where did he learn to play?
Well he’s got some pedigree, has Alonso. The defender came through the ranks at Real Madrid, appearing regularly for the B-team before being given his first-team debut.
Alonso has also played for Spain’s under-19 side a number of times, and moves to Stamford Bridge from Serie A side Fiorentina; sound good Chelsea fans?
So is this his first time in England?
No. Unfortunately for Alonso it didn’t work out with Real Madrid, who moved him on to Bolton Wanderers, where the Spaniard made a handful of appearances before Bolton were relegated in 2012 from the Premier League.
Alonso had more success in the Championship, making 26 appearances and scoring four goals before moving to Fiorentina, but was immediately loaned back to England with Sunderland taking him temporarily.
Does his style of play suit the Premier League?
It does and it doesn’t. Alonso’s attributes are his tackling ability and his aerial presence, along with the ability to take a set piece. However, he might lack the pace required to make it as a full-back in the Premier League. At 188cm tall though, perhaps his physicality will be enough to win him a place in the team.
Is he a winner?
Hmm, unfortunately he doesn’t have a vast trophy cabinet for Chelsea fans to drool over. In fact, there’s nothing there. Alonso finished the 2013/14 season as a League Cup runner-up with Sunderland in the same season Fiorentina lost in the final of the Coppa Italia. Perhaps Chelsea can help the defender add some silverware.
Will he walk into the team?
That’s very difficult to answer, and a lot will depend on the form of Branislav Ivanovic. Cesar Azpilicueta is the first-choice full-back at Chelsea, operating on both the right and the left depending on where he’s needed, but with Ivanovic at 32 years of age, Alonso might offer more in terms of endurance and fitness across the season.