The £24m ex-Chelsea star Spurs or West Ham United can sign this January

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Marcos Alonso seems to be on his way out of Barcelona - but could he still do a job in the Premier League

Reports that former Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso is on the verge of leaving Barcelona don’t come as too much of a surprise to anybody who follows La Liga closely – after getting plenty of playing time last year, the 32-year-old has fallen down the pecking order behind budding superstar Alejandro Balde and summer signing João Cancelo. Limited to just two league starts this season, the veteran defender is looking for a way out.

Most of the rumours circulating around the situation suggest that a lucrative last pay day in Saudi Arabia beckons, although the handful of clubs at the top of the Pro League ladder who have been splashing the cash in such colossal quantities this year have filled out their allotted overseas player slots. Should the chance to get what would amount to a golden handshake on his way out of the professional game materialise, however, one would imagine Alonso would take it – but if he can’t get the giant contract that comes with a move to the Middle East, could he still do a job in the Premier League?

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Barcelona would not need much money to part with Alonso – he’s essentially surplus to requirements and a club that is watching its wage structure like a hawk is likely to be happy to get his estimated €120,000 (£102,850) weekly pay packet off the books. In any case, his current deal with the Calatan club expires at the end of June, so there is little financial incentive for Barcelona to hold onto him with two players plainly ahead of him in the pecking order.

And there are a few Premier League clubs who could do with a left-back, or an upgrade in that position – and for all that time is slowly creeping up on him, he remains a fine player with unquestionable productivity. Since moving to Barcelona, his numbers have remained strong, and he’s got excellent underlying stats when it comes to passing, defensive positioning, off-ball movement and even shooting. There’s a lot of room to be worse than Balde and Cancelo and still be an extremely useful player.

West Ham United, for instance, are reliant on Emerson Palmieri at left full-back, a player who is better in the tackle than Alonso but far less dangerous going forward and with a much lower technical level. David Moyes typically prefers his full-backs not to be excessively adventurous, but Vladimír Coufal has enjoyed success getting up to the final third more this season, and Moyes may decide to try and add a little more attacking flair on his left flank. Alonso would certainly be an upgrade in that regard.

And then there are teams with injury issues to work though – Tottenham Hotspur, for instance, have lost both Ivan Perišić and Ryan Sessegnon to long-term injuries after loaning Sergio Reguilón to Manchester United. As a result, their left-back depth is restricted to the impressive but inexperienced Destiny Udogie and Emerson Royal, who is really a right-back and little more than passable on his less-favoured side of the field. Alonso may not necessarily be a massive upgrade on Udogie if he is one at all, but having an extra option could be important as the packed fixture list takes it toll. A short-term deal or a loan could make a lot of sense.

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Less likely, but no less illogical, would be a return to Chelsea. Mauricio Pochettino is operating under restricted circumstances with Ben Chilwell out injured, and while Levi Colwill has been superb as a makeshift left-back, Alonso could again be a useful depth piece with Marc Cucurella seemingly out of favour. In any case, Alonso again offers much more of an attacking threat than Cucurella, which could be useful if Chilwell remains out for the long term.

Then there are teams like Wolverhampton Wanderers, who could easily lose their first-choice left-back Rayan Aït-Nouri if rumours that he has himself become a target for Chelsea are to be believed – Alonso would almost certainly improve their team if the Algerian defender does end up leaving. Most mid-table Premier League teams would, on paper, be better off for having Alonso on the books, for a while at least.

And a loan move should not be seen as being off the table – Barcelona would be happy to lose his wages and that would give the Saudi clubs the time to rejig their rosters next summer and open up a spot for Alonso to take full financial advantage of. Teams with injuries and short term needs will surely consider a bid, although his substantial wages may prove a sticking point in negotiations for some clubs.

Ultimately, Alonso still has plenty to offer a good team, even if his peak may have slightly passed – he played an important role for the Spanish champions last season, after all, and is hardly over the hill. Manchester United allegedly considered signing him to cover the hole left by injuries to Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia before they settled on a loan deal for Reguilón, after all. Don’t be surprised if he has one final crack at the Premier League left in him, and don’t be surprised if he’s better than you think.

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