It happens so often where a player just cannot kick on and find their feet at one club before going on to be a star at another, and Marcos Alonso is no different. The Spanish full-back had a spell at Sunderland on-loan from Fiorentina back in the second half of the 2013/14 season. His short time in the North East was far from a success, and seeing him shine now will be a kick in the teeth for the Mackems.
Now at Chelsea, the Spanish wing-back has reformed from being a left-back in a flat four to a wing-back in a five-man defence, and that change has suited him to a tee. More emphasis on going forward and helping at the top end of the pitch has taken pressure off of his defensive frailties and owing to that change the inconsistent Sunderland man is a now a title-winning full-back at Stamford Bridge.
Alonso managed just 20 games during his short loan spell with Sunderland at The Stadium of Light. In that time he found himself losing the League Cup final of 2014 3-1 to Manchester City and ending his spell in the Northeast of England six bookings two assists and one red card, a record that he certainly won’t look back on too fondly.
The rise that the Spaniard has had since the end of that loan is a highly impressive one, though. The 28-year-old has gone from a sub-par defender in England’s top flight, taken his game to Italy and honed himself before returning with a point to prove and starring for the Blues under Antonio Conte as Stamford Bridge became a fortress in the club’s 2016/17 title-winning season.
It’s arguable that the most important player in that campaign was Alonso. His efforts from left-wing-back were incredible. Six goals and three assists from the back as the Blues cantered towards the Premier League crown, batting off the challenge from Tottenham Hotspur as they went about it, and Sunderland fans will be questioning where that Alonso was when he featured for them three years previously.
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