When Marcos Alonso arrived at Chelsea on transfer deadline day in the summer, he was looked at mostly as an overpriced panic buy, after the sudden realization that we were ready to tackle yet another season with the full back combination of Branislav Ivanović and César Azpilicueta. That neither of those players are playing wing-back for the club these days is perhaps as surprising as Marcos Alonso’s emergence and absolute dominance of the left wing-back position since switching to the 3-4-3.
Conte’s 3-4-3 is of course full of unexpected developments. There’s Alonso on the left, but there’s also Moses on the right and David Luiz (defender of the year candidate) in the middle, plus Pedro playing a key role, and even Diego Costa playing as well as he’s ever had for Chelsea without all the sideshow shenanigans that he supposedly needed to function at the highest level.
I doubt even the players themselves expected this massive turnaround, or, in the case of Alonso, even a transfer to Chelsea in the first place.
"Well, I think there was some conversations [with Barcelona] but the truth is that at that point it was not in my plans to leave Fiorentina. It was only when the interest from Chelsea arrived in the summer when I started to consider to make a change."
Alonso had played in the Premier League before, so he was familiar with Chelsea. Apparently, he was also quite eager to join once the possibility was opened for him.
“There were some great teams interested in me in the summer but I decided to join Chelsea because they are a team that I had always liked. I saw a possibility of succeeding here. I had some other offers from other teams from Italy and Spain but when Chelsea came to get me, I did not think twice.”
“Chelsea are a club that had always attracted me. From my early years at Bolton I knew that Chelsea were a great club and the truth is that I was right to come here. Things are going well but I have to continue this way because I think I still can give much more. Now with the tranquility of not having to prove anything I have to keep improving.”
-Marcos Alonso; source: IB Times
While I’m not so sure the proving part is completely over — I suspect and expect left back to be fairly high on the priority list this summer considering that we’ve had to play the likes of Pedro, Kenedy, and Aké there when Alonso needed a breather — it’s certainly nice to see a semi-questionable transfer like the 26-year-old former Real Madrid trainee work out so well.