The Spanish full-back has returned to favour with Thomas Tuchel at the helm, allowing early-season struggles to be pushed to the back of his mind

Marcos Alonso admits to having endured a “frustrating” time at Chelsea under Frank Lampard, with the Spanish defender missing out on a place in 16 successive Premier League matchday squads at one stage.

The versatile 30-year-old opened the 2020-21 campaign in the thoughts of a now-departed Blues boss, but saw no game time at all between September 26 and January 31 as Ben Chilwell nailed down a left-back berth.

A recall was earned once managerial reins were passed to Thomas Tuchel, with eight outings in all competitions taken in now that a German tactician is calling the shots.

What has been said?

Alonso, who saw a move away from Stamford Bridge mooted during the winter window, has told the club’s official website: “Was it frustrating not playing? Yes, of course. I was not getting many chances. It was tough.

“But this is football. Sometimes it is like this. All you can do is keep working hard, keep training and try to be ready for when the chance comes.

“When I am on the pitch it is easier. When I used to stay home it was not easy to help the team.

“But I’m very happy to get involved and to be able to help the team and I’m looking forward to more of this.”

Why has Alonso come back into favour?

Marcos Alonso and Ben Chilwell

Tuchel has tweaked Chelsea’s tactical approach and favoured a three-man defensive unit that looks for wing-backs to provide width on the flanks.

That system has always suited Alonso, who has never been shy about getting into the final third, and he is flourishing again after seeing serious questions asked of his future in west London.

“He gives me the freedom to go forward. Yes. When you are controlling the game it gives you a little bit more freedom,” Alonso added on working with Tuchel.

“And I am always happy to help the team. If we control the game like we did against Everton, it is not easy to go through the middle. So I like to do these runs from wide to inside.”

The bigger picture

Tuchel has gone unbeaten through 11 games as Chelsea boss, with positive progress being made in domestic and continental competition.

A trip to Leeds on Saturday presents the Blues with an opportunity to cement a standing inside the Premier League’s top four, before a return date with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League offers them a shot at the Champions League quarter-finals.

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