Marcos Alonso Mendoza was one of the two players who joined Chelsea on the deadline day of the 2016 transfer window and largely flew under the radar since the other arrival was the return of prodigal son David Luiz. But the times have certainly changed as David Luiz has started 5 games since the onset of November 2017, while Chelsea can’t imagine life without Alonso.
You’d assume that after being a guaranteed starter for a club with the stature of Chelsea for two seasons, one of which included a record breaking 30 win Premier League season, Alonso would surely have gotten a national cap by now, right? Well, you’d be wrong as the likes of Barcelona’s Jordi Alba, Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal (huh) and Liverpool’s Alberto Moreno (what?!) have been preferred over our beautiful striker reincarnate.
39 - With 7 goals and 3 assists, Marcos Alonso is the 39th Premier League player to register at least 10 goal involvements in all competitions this season, and the first defender to do so. Stepped.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 28, 2018
Considering how the World Cup is right around the corner, Alonso’s chances to be in the Spain’s 23-man squad for Russia are declining by the minute. Speaking to Cadena Ser, his father and former Barcelona and Atlético Madrid winger Marcos Alonso Peña has offered insight on his son’s prospects for the World Cup.
“Marcos has to be calm and continue to press on. In Spain there are many good players. The national team coach takes the ones he thinks are better for him and we have to accept it.”
“My son is working towards trying to go and if it happens, great, and if it doesn’t, he will continue to fight to get there. Spain have a great team and are one of the favourites to win the World Cup.”
On paper, the man makes sense. Alonso is still 27 and if Monreal can represent Spain at the age of 32, so can Alonso in the next Euros and World Cup in 2022. However, even without the blue tinted glasses, most Premier League onlookers would believe that Alonso deserves to be in that squad. Even if we put aside his goal-scoring record and free-kick accuracy, Alonso still has his work rate and defensive contribution, which are what makes him a force to be reckoned with.
16 - Since the start of last season, Marcos Alonso has been directly involved in 16 Premier League goals (12 goals, 4 assists), 4 more than any other defender. Rampant. pic.twitter.com/wzVXbFqHI3— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 3, 2018
Alonso’s father also spoke about his son’s career decisions. Of course, letting his contract run down at Bolton and then joining Fiorentina looks like a great decision in hindsight, since he could’ve stayed in England or return to familiar surroundings in Spain. Instead, he chose to go to Italy which helped him develop the tactical side of his game that has made him Antonio Conte’s favourite.
”He’s chosen wisely. He really liked the idea of playing in England and went to Bolton, where he improved and learned English. That is what he wanted to do and it was his choice.”
“We were then lucky that Fiorentina signed him in 2013 and that’s where Marcos really improved a lot in every facet. He did well there. He had offers from Italian clubs to remain but in the end, we decided for him to go to Chelsea.”
”He is very happy in London and the Premier League is a wonderful tournament.”
If there is one thing Alonso has shown, it’s that he has the determination and grit to succeed at this level. After going from the riches of Real Madrid to relegated Bolton and then carving his way back up to winning titles at Chelsea, this man has been constantly improving. Now it’s time to take some steps further, both at club and national team levels.