The Hard Tackle analyses Marcos Alonso and his goalscoring exploits at Chelsea, uncharacteristic for a defender.

In 2010, Bolton Wanderers signed a young fullback from Real Madrid amid much clamour. His name was Marco Alonso and he was touted as an exciting prospect. Thus, understandably, Trotters’ fans were looking forward to seeing what he could do. At the time, Bolton were a Premier League club with a solid squad, so Alonso had to wait for his chance – but when it came, he grabbed it with both hands.

His displays for the club attracted the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. In fact, his performances earned him the fans’ player of the year vote and he also showed glimpses of what was to come by netting a few important goals for Bolton. Fans were disappointed then when, despite being offered a new contract by Dougie Freedman, he chose to join Italian side Fiorentina. He was an instant hit and quickly became an important player for the Viola.

Voila! He's doing it for the Viola. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Voila! He’s doing it for the Viola. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

His penchant for scoring was not well-established in Italy, a much more defensive league than the Premier League, but even so, he did bag five Serie A goals during his time at the club. It was in 2016 when he moved to Chelsea that his ability to score goals became more apparent and he has since become one of the most clinical full backs in world football.

It is always difficult to compare players of different generations, but you could argue that Alonso, whose father and grandfather were both top players in Spain, is one of the most astute goal scorers ever to play fullback. He certainly comes out on top in the current Premier League defenders this season with six goals and is currently 20th in the list of overall top scorers for 2017/18 in any position.

If you look at football betting tips that give information ahead of key matches in the Premier League, it would be prudent to consider Alonso’s goalscoring record and factor that into any considerations on matches involving Chelsea.

Alonso has been the unlikely hero on several occasions for Chelsea. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Alonso has been the unlikely hero on several occasions for Chelsea. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

He is not just as an outlet on the left but also brilliant in dead-ball situations. He comes up with key goals in important matches and has made the difference for Chelsea in several close games this season. He scored the only goal in the Blues’ 1-0 win over Southampton in mid-December and also scored in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal while grabbing both goals in the 2-1 victory over Tottenham back in August.

Many Premier League fans of a certain age will compare Alonso to other roving fullbacks like Liverpool’s John Arne Riise, who scored over 20 times for The Reds during his spell in the English top flight. But, the way Alonso is going, it is highly likely that he will overtake the Norwegian.

He may not manage it this season but if he keeps up the kind of scoring rate that he has since arriving at Stamford Bridge, then it will not be long before Marco Alonso becomes one of the Premier League top scoring defenders of all time.