This little bit of trivia has been making the rounds since Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Brighton, which featured goals from Spaniards Álvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso. No team in Europe’s big five leagues has had more league goals scored by Spanish players this season than Chelsea. So, in the top divisions of England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France, the 20 goals scored by Chelsea’s Spaniards are the most. (Well, level with Real Sociedad’s collection of Spanish nationals, which does bring to focus the question of just who counts as Spanish? La Real are technically a Basque club with only Basque or Basque heritage or foreign players (EDIT: apparently this is no longer the case?), while both Cesc and Pedro might identify more as Catalan than Spanish — yes, Pedro was born in the Canary Islands, but he spent much of his grown life in Barcelona. But this is all just trivia, so perhaps we can ignore those (political, cultural, ethnic) questions for now.)
Chelsea overall have been rather disappointing with regards to goal-scoring, but Morata continues to deliver the goods and Alonso already has five goals for the season and continues to set the pace for goals by defenders since his arrival in the Premier League 18 months ago. Joined by fellow Spaniards Cesc Fàbregas (1 goal), César Azpilicueta (1 goal), and Pedro Rodríguez (3 goals), they’ve formed quite a key group in Chelsea’s squad. (We can even toss in Thibaut Courtois, the “honorary Spaniard”.)
While there is always the danger of cliques forming (especially if things go awry on the pitch), Chelsea’s multi-national squad can also help settle new signings quickly and easily.
"I need to say thanks to everyone, the Spanish players in the team because they helped me to settle well at Chelsea and in London. "
"It is a little bit different in Spain [at Christmas], I had holidays and in Italy too, but I am really enjoying this Christmas time playing and the most important thing is for the supporters, if we win they are happy."
"I am happy too for Marcos, he is a very great person and very good player and I am very happy for all the team that we got the three points."
-Álvaro Morata; source: Chelsea FC
Morata’s header, his 10th goal in the league, proved the turning point for Chelsea on Tuesday, as the Blues put the frustrations of the goalless draw at Everton behind themselves. Alonso’s tally sealed the deal, allowing Chelsea to rest key players later in the half (Hazard, Kanté, Morata all getting a few minutes of extra rest) and hopefully start a new long winning streak.
"We are a good group, we are working well together and we have to keep working and getting results. We need to go out there and win the three points every game and then we will see where we are at the end of the season."
-Marcos Alonso; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all!