It’s happened. It’s actually happened. Roman Abramovich has gone utterly mad(der) and spent an obscene €27 million to acquire the services of Marcos Alonso, who’s in London signing paperwork and undergoing a medical as we speak. While this may seem grossly excessive, don’t be fooled. It is grossly excessive.
This will go down as the biggest profit Fiorentina have ever made on a player, as Alonso joined the club from Bolton on a free transfer back in 2013. After a brief spell at Sunderland, he returned to Florence to form a platoon on the left wing with Manuel Pasqual, eventually becoming the first-choice wingback under Paulo Sousa. All told, he’s made 85 appearances for the Viola, scoring 5 goals and notching 7 assists to go with 17 yellow cards and a red.
While Alonso is certainly one of the better leftbacks in Serie A, it’s a bit mad that the Blues rate him at 0.71 Dani Alveses. Good in the air, tireless up and down the wing, and possessing a lethal left foot for crossing and shooting, he’s thrived in England previously and has all the qualities one associates with English football except for searing pace. What he lacks, though, is technique, vision, and an advanced reading of the game, which are all qualities one might expect in one of the priciest fullbacks of all time. Of course, with nary a natural leftback on the roster, Antonio Conte must be desperate, and having a man who can fill in at leftback, left midfield, or even center defense fits a need. You’d just think he’d want someone who can do those things a bit better than ol’ Marcos.
This is truly a coup for Pantaleo Corvino, but don’t expect him to splash the new money any time soon. While Alonso will need a replacement in the squad—newcomer Hrvoje Milic is the only remaining leftback—the options look to be a bit lower budget, such as Genoa wingback Diego Laxalt (another Uruguayan), or long-term targets Domenico Criscito and Davide Santon. The cash will realistically probably go towards paying loan obligations next season.
But for now, let’s marvel at Chelsea buying Marcos %#&!ing Alonso for €27 million. Goodbye, Marcos. We know we weren’t always nice to you despite your winning qualities and fantastic good looks, but at least you’ve landed on your feet. At least until Abramovich gets tired of you after three weeks and sells you to some League 2 side.