The 25-year-old Spaniard is the first defender to be signed by Antonio Conte for Chelsea.

The Blues were growing increasingly frustrated in their search for a defender and Conte had made it pretty clear that defensive reinforcements would be their top priority during the transfer window. However, Chelsea failed to land any of the top-notch defenders they were interested in. While there was a lot of speculation that Kalidou Koulibaly might join Chelsea in a record breaking transfer, negotiations broke down.

The same was the case with Leonardo Bonucci, and more recently Alessio Romagnoli and Marcelo Brozovic, with Chelsea failing to secure a deal.

In the end, they made a last ditch effort to sign the talented Fiorentina left back and were able to strike a deal on Wednesday.

Alonso had previously played in the Premier League for Bolton Wanderers where he had linked up with former Blues defender Gary Cahill before moving on to Fiorentina. He did come back to England on a loan basis for Sunderland. Alonso also played in the Sunderland win at Stamford Bridge which ended Jose Mourinho’s 77-game undefeated league run at the stadium. It was his volley that led to the Black Cats equalising that day.

Fiorentina's Spanish defender Marcos Alonso Mendoza celebrates after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Acf Fiorentina and Napoli on February 29, 2016 at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence. / AFP / ALBERTO PIZZOLI

Fiorentina’s Spanish defender Marcos Alonso Mendoza celebrates after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Acf Fiorentina and Napoli on February 29, 2016 at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence. / AFP / ALBERTO PIZZOLI

He then moved back to La Viola and now leaves them having made 85 appearances, scoring five times.

Conte had seen him play while he was the manager of Juventus, and regards him highly.

This deal, worth £23 million, makes the player Conte’s fourth signing of the season.

After signing the contract, Alonso told the club’s official website,” I’m very happy. It’s a step up in my career and I think this is the perfect place for me to continue developing. It’s time for me to win some titles. It was an easy decision for me to make when I heard the club were interested in signing me. My family and close friends know Chelsea is the club I have dreamed about playing for so I’m really excited about the challenge and I’m looking forward to working with my new team-mates.”

Alonso, a natural left back, can also play in the midfield. His signing means that Cesar Azpilicueta can move back to his more natural right back position and in all probability, put an out of form Branislav Ivanovic on the sidelines.

 

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