Marcos Alonso is the third longest-serving non-Academy player in the first-team these days, behind captain César Azpilicueta and fellow summer 2016 arrival N’Golo Kanté. Unlike with those two however, Alonso’s claims on a starting spot haven’t always been super strong.
In fact, not all that long ago, it looked like his time at Chelsea was effectively over. He had fallen completely out of favor (and also just out*) with Frank Lampard — though his playing time had been steadily trending downwards well before then as well. Ben Chilwell had been signed as the clear first-choice going forward.
But Thomas Tuchel’s arrival and reinstatement of a wing-back system breathed new life into Alonso’s career — including a recall to the Spanish national team! — and Chilwell’s unfortunate ACL tear has thrust the 31-year-old back into the starting role for the past couple months. Returns have been mixed, but with Chelsea only adding Kenedy as emergency left wing-back relief in January, it’s Alonso’s position to lose the rest of the way this season.
And that situation may yet extend well into next season as well, depending on Chilwell’s recovery. By then, Alonso will be into the final of year of his contract. But that’s not something that’s on his mind at the moment, certainly not in terms of leaving.
“I don’t know the answer and it doesn’t just depend on what I want. But I will always try to give 100 per cent and always focus on the next game. I am very happy here so why not (sign a new deal to stay longer).
“I have always had interest from other clubs but to be honest. It was never my intention to leave. I wanted to fight for my position. I know what I can give to the team and until the club tell me something else then that will always be my target.”
“Chelsea is the most important club in my career. I want to give back (for) all the chances they put in me. That’s my only target. There will be good moments, there will be bad moments, there will be managers coming in and out. My contract is with Chelsea and I serve the club.”
-Marcos Alonso; source: The Athletic
Alonso’s already top 100 in club history in terms of appearances (196) and goals (26). He’s won just about everything possible, and is just two games away from adding the two trophies missing from his personal collection: the Club World Cup and the League Cup.
He will likely start both of those finals, and keep on doing that Chelsea thing.
* Alonso was asked about, and addressed for the first time, that infamous incident between him and Lampard during and after that West Brom game in late September 2020, which reportedly left Lampard “angriest ever” and saw Alonso essentially dropped from the team for four months (except for four bench appearances in the Champions League due to expanded matchday squad rules), until Lampard’s sacking.
Alonso, who had a terrible game and was hooked at half-time, claims there was a hefty dose of miscommunication between him and the head coach, and that he smoothed things over quickly with the team, though the aforementioned evidence of his involvement would seem to not support at least part of those claims.
I suppose it’s all troubled water under the (Stamford) bridge at this point anyway.
“[Lampard] didn’t take it well but I explained everything that happened. He thought I left before the end of the game but I told him no. There were some medical staff in the changing room who can provide the right information.
“I watched the game upstairs and with five minutes to go [West Brom security] told me I cannot be here so I went downstairs to the changing room. Then when the referee blew the whistle I went to the coach before the team got back.
“It was not with any bad intention that I wanted to leave but I had a shower at half-time already, I had a shower upstairs and then I just went. I was not happy, of course, with how the game went and everything but it was not any intention to do that.
“I spoke to my team-mates straight after, (to check) if someone felt offended or something, (but) everyone was OK.”
-Marcos Alonso; source: The Athletic