Chelsea News: I am astonished at what Antonio Conte has done with Marcos Alonso – Keown

That is the view of former Arsenal defender Martin Keown.

Alonso was one of the standout performers for Chelsea last season as Antonio Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title.

The Spaniard was played at wing-back in Conte’s 3-4-3 system and earned rave reviews from supporters and pundits throughout the campaign.

And Alonso has started this season with a bang too – scoring twice in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Tottenham at Wembley last weekend.

Keown feels a large part of Alonso’s success at Chelsea is down to his manager.

“The key to their performance was Marcos Alonso. It is astonishing how Antonio Conte is getting these fantastic performances from him,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

“When Chelsea were losing against Burnley on the opening day, Alonso was the player who seemed most determined to drag his side back into the game.

“Alonso was their driving force again at Wembley — he takes it upon himself to push his team forwards. When Chelsea got that free-kick you could see David Luiz step aside for Alonso — he knew his team-mate could hit it.

“Last season he put in decent performances for Chelsea but now he is their match-winner.

“On Sunday, Tottenham did not have a player who offered similar inspiration.”

Alonso will be looking to add to his goalscoring tally when Chelsea host Everton on Sunday (1.30pm).

More Breaking News:
Chelsea planning £15m bid for PL star, player keen on move – Report

Chelsea are planning an approach in signing Swansea City striker Fernando Llorente in the final week of the summer transfer window.

According to the Telegraph, the 32-year-old is the primary target for Antonio Conte as the Blues manager is looking to bolster his strike force for the 2017/18 season. His side are planning a £15m ($19.4m) bid for the Welsh club’s attacker.

Diego Costa led the west London club’s attack as they went on to win the title last term. The Brazil-born Spain international is not included in the former Juventus manager’s plans at Stamford Bridge. Conte had earlier sent a text to Costa saying that he is no longer wanted at the club.

Chelsea have already signed Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid as he joins Michy Batshuayi as the two recognised players to leave the Blues’ attack. Llorente is the player identified by Conte as the pair have already worked together when they were at Juventus.

The Spain international is aware of interest from the English champions and the striker is keen on reuniting with Conte at the capital club. The player is also aware that Chelsea are set to make an approach for his services.

Swansea, on the other hand, are determined to retain Llorente at the Liberty Stadium. However, Paul Clement’s side are aware that the opportunity to play in the Champions League is expected to be the difference.

Conte wanted to bring Llorente to the Bridge in the January transfer window. However, Swansea rejected their approach as they were hoping to avoid relegation from the Premier League last season.

Clement and Swansea are braced for another approach from Chelsea for Llorente before the deadline day. The striker is currently on the sidelines after suffering an arm injury even before the start of the season and is yet to feature for the Welsh club.


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