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Arrival of Deadline Day Spaniard to give Chelsea vital balance

| 01.09.2016

Arguably, Chelsea have been lopsided for the past three seasons. Looking to redress this balance Ashley Cole provided when he was parading their left side, new manager Antonio Conte has splashed out.

Marcos Alonso arrived at Stamford Bridge without too much fanfare on Deadline Day, though the £23m signing from Fiorentina could easily become a more integral member of Conte’s team than the headline-stealing David Luiz, somewhat surprisingly back for another stint in west London.

Replacing a left-back of Cole’s world-class stature was always going to be a Teflon-tough task, and so it has proved.

Chelsea fans have seen a few come and go, with converted right-back Cesar Azpilicueta the best of a trio consisting of the strangely ill-fitting Felipe Luiz and £17m mystery man Baba Rahman – shipped out on loan after just 17 appearances.

However, Alonso’s all around game should help the 25-year-old go some way to giving Chelsea that specialist left sider they’ve been missing.

Schooled by Real Madrid, but familiar with English audiences after a three-year stint at Bolton earlier in his career, as well as a short loan at Sunderland, the Spaniard has excelled in Serie A over the past two campaigns.

A tough tackler and natural in the air thanks to his 6ft 2” frame, Alonso offers just as much going forward as he does in his defensive duties.

The Madrid native notched three times for the Viola in Serie A last term, stumping up four assists as well.

He also chimed in with 1.5 key passes per game in the Italian top flight during his last campaign wearing the famous purple strip and clocked up 23 European appearances over three full seasons at the Florence outfit.

If Conte chooses to revert back to his glory-seeking 3-5-2 formula from his Juventus days, then Alonso is the perfect wing-back fit.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.