Five matches into the new season and Chelsea are on top of the Premier League standings. Having maintained a 100% record together with Liverpool so far, they lead the Reds via goal difference thanks to their new swashbuckling brand of enterprising football instilled by Maurizio Sarri.
A radical departure from Antonio Conte’s reactive approach, Sarri-ball has seen the Blues embark on an attacking rage at the league, plundering 14 goals so far, while also having made the most passes out of all the top-flight clubs and also having the best passing accuracy percentage (along with Manchester City).
Yet despite the renewed attacking verve at Stamford Bridge, the centreforward role at Chelsea has stayed as an interesting situation. Of the 14 goals Chelsea have registered so far, only one has been scored by a striker, Alvaro Morata scoring against Arsenal in one of his four starts for the team, while on the other hand, Olivier Giroud just started his first match last weekend against Cardiff, recording two assists.
While the two are very good forwards and can contribute to the Blues’ attack in their own ingenious ways, Chelsea need the two to become more prolific in front of goal if they are to become genuine title challengers this season, with Eden Hazard shouldering the goalscoring responsibility so far with five goals (albeit including two spot kicks).
It has been suggested that Hazard can fill the central forward position yet with the Belgian star having previously expressed his disdain at playing as a false nine (last season under Conte), Sarri may yet turn to an unlikely option in the current Blues squad to fill in that striker gap in case the Italian decides to bin his two senior forwards at the moment.
Quizzed in an interview at the club’s official website on which defender he believes would make a good striker, Marcos Alonso did not bat an eye when giving his answer as to who that could be. “That’s an easy one. I have to go for me. I used to play as a striker when I was a kid, I really enjoyed it and I’ve kept some of the things I used to do, it’s good to score goals to help the team.”
Despite starting from the back and wide positions, Alonso has been a prolific goalscorer for the Blues. A return of 14 league goals in two and some seasons for a defender is very good, underlining the Spaniard’s lethality in front of goal, and bearing in mind Alonso’s perceived reluctance to drop back and defend, it might be a good thing for Sarri, who has recently hailed the 27-year-old as perhaps the best in his position, to call on the left-footed ace to lead the frontline instead.