New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has so far added just two players to the side he inherited from Guus Hiddink at the end of last season. But with just five days to go until the transfer window slams shut, it looks as though the Italian man will be adding at least one more familiar face to his ranks.
Conte has already made it clear he is looking to add depth to a currently-light defence, and he’s spent much of the summer scouring Serie A for a player who ticks all the boxes. The latest name to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge is Spanish defender Marcos Alonso.
Formerly a Real Madrid youth product, Alonso is certainly no stranger to the Premier League, having represented both Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland in the top-flight.
After three years with the Trotters, Alonso was snapped up by Fiorentina in 2013 before being loaned straight out to Sunderland by then-boss Vincenzo Montella.
Returning a year later, Alonso broke into the Fiorentina first team and has since represented Viola 54 times in the league, grabbing four goals from left-back.
Should Conte bring the 25-year-old to Stamford Bridge this summer, it would allow him to rest both Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta – the pair having played a staggering 206 times in the league for Chelsea in the last three years combined.
Azpilicueta is comfortable playing on both sides of the pitch, meaning he could fill in for Ivanovic should the Serbian need a rest and Alonso could slot into the left-back position.
Likewise, were Conte to give Azpilicueta a break at any point this season, he could do so safe in the knowledge that he has a quality option on the bench ready to fill in.
Alonso’s development has been a gradual process which has seen him train with Galacticos, experience life in the Premier League, graft in the Championship and play in a division known worldwide for its defensive brilliance.
And at just 25, he could be the perfect long-term solution to Conte’s problems at the back.
Should the former Italy boss tighten up a defence which leaked an abnormal 53 goals last campaign, there could be real value in the 9/2 on Chelsea to win the league.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.