Marcos Alonso’s time may slowly be running out at Chelsea Football Club. Ever since his outstanding first season at the club under Antonio Conte, it has gone downhill and he has never managed to match those levels of consistency again.
Personally, I can’t see him being at the club next season. Obviously, a lot of things can change in the next 40 odd games, but in this article I’ll go through a couple reasons why I think his time is up at the best club in London.
Marcos Alonso thrived under Conte while playing in the left-wing-back position in a three at the back formation. This was because he was allowed to attack a lot more, and he did not have to worry about the space behind him due to the extra defender.
But when Maurizio Sarri arrived and stuck with his rigid 4-3-3 formation, Alonso struggled to keep up with the pace required in the position as well as the high level of technical ability.
Similarly to last year, Alonso actually impressed at the start of the season at the left-back position, but after a couple of games we started to see his weaknesses once again.
It seems that Frank Lampard will keep playing four at the back this whole season, and Alonso will certainly suffer in this team due to the lack of pace and technical ability he has.
However, if I’m being totally honest, Alonso is not a bad backup fullback to have, especially since he’s ‘happy’ at the club.
Nowadays, a lot of the quality players are not happy to be a backup player and want to move clubs if they are not guaranteed first team starters. Alonso seems content at the moment with how much game time he is getting and seems to not be causing too much of a problem in the dressing room.
Saying this, we know the sort of character Alonso is and it would not surprise me if he could cause a few problems in the dressing room soon if he keeps on being benched, and this is why I would sell him.
Also, one thing I have noticed is that he only starts playing well when his role at fullback is in danger.
For example, when he was given the rare opportunity last year to play, in the Europa League, he impressed and looked solid both defensively and offensively.
Just like this season, Emerson’s injury gave Alonso that opportunity and he took it well, having a couple great performances at the beginning of the season. But, when given a couple more games in a row, he struggled to keep this level at started to become a lot more complacent.
Personally, I would rather have someone as a backup who loves the club and will fight and improve every day to try and get that starting spot, as well as not creating any problems behind the scenes either.
Like I’ve already mentioned, the Spaniard’s consistency in the last two seasons and so far in this year has been absolutely dreadful.
This season, he’s had brilliant games against the likes of Newcastle at Stamford Bridge and took home all three points for the Blues.
Only a couple days ago, he had one of the worst individual performances I have seen in a while, with constant crosses going wild and him giving the ball away too often.
I mean, as soon as he was substituted on and James came on, we looked so much better as a team and it made me realise that at the moment I’d prefer Azpilicueta as our backup Left-Back instead of Alonso!
Despite the support for every single player being increased so much this season due to the signing of Lampard and the use of the youth, I heard some fans in Matthew Harding Lower starting to get angry at Alonso and the way he was playing.
Consistency is one thing you need in any position, and nowadays the fullback is becoming one of the most important roles in the whole team.
When called upon, due to an injury or other reasons, he needs to step up and perform at the highest level he can but unfortunately we don’t see this anywhere near often enough.
If Marcos was consistent, he would be one of the best backup fullbacks in the League but his lack of consistency has definitely lost his place in the starting lineup and possibly the squad.
4. Transfer Market/Targets
With what the rumours have been suggesting recently, it certainly looks like Alonso will be heading out in the Summer.
According to the the Telegraph, Chelsea are heavily interested in Leciester City player Ben Chilwell, who has impressed over the last two years and would also help with the homegrown status.
We have also been heavily linked with Nathan Ake, and due to his versitality of playing in Left-Back and Centre-Back in addition to his 40 million buy back clause, this signing looks really likely.
The Daily Mail also reported that Alonso had joined the list of Pedro and Olivier Giroud of players that Chelsea were looking to sell on.
All these links are just the last piece to the jigsaw and with how the media have reported in the last couple weeks, I would be extremely surprised to see him in a blue shirt next season.
5. Modernisation of Fullbacks
Something quick to mention, is how important fullbacks have become in today’s football and how they have changed.
Previously, fullbacks were very defensive and were appreciated for the work done in their own half, hence Dave was often stated as the best Premier League defender due to his brilliant one on one ability.
Now, it is a lot different. Just look at the top clubs in the world, and then look at their fullbacks – Manchester City, Liverpool, Ajax, Barcelona. What do they have in common?
They can run. They can run forward, put balls in the box, beat a man. They can run back, defend, make a sliding tackle.
Those six characteristics – I don’t think Alonso can do many of them. And that is not even me hating on him, it’s just not his natural position and he’s never played like this ever before.