New and improved AlonsoChelsea who remembered Marcos Alonso as a Bolton and Sunderland defender might have been skeptical about the Blues spending £23 million on him in the summer. But by then Alonso was a Fiorentina defender. He had been for the best part of three years. As he will tell you himself, it was a vital spell in his career. It transformed him. He went from being a decent defender to a good one.
Perhaps this would have happened anywhere. A graduate of the Real Madrid academy, maybe Alonso was always on course for success. Nah, he says. It mattered that it was Italy. It had to be Italy. The defender gave a brilliant analogy about what it was like to play in Serie A.