Marcos Alonso could be set to win his first major honour of his footballing career at Chelsea this season and Antonio Conte is impressed with his left-wing back,who has been integral to his side's success.
Chelsea sit fourpoints clear of their nearest rivals at the top of the Premier League table with only seven games left to go and, unlike almost all of his team-mates, it would be a first major honour for Alonso.
The 26-year-old scored a vital free-kick against Bournemouth last week and in total has started 25 Premier League games since he made his £23 million move on transfer deadline day from Fiorentina. And Conte believes that Alonso has become a better player at Chelsea this season.
“His contribution [for Chelsea],it's great," Conte said at a news conference at Cobham Training Ground."But Marcos, I think, is one of the players who has grown this season. He grew this season. He took a lot of confidence.
"He's working a lot to improve. His attitude and work-rate is great. Don't forget that, when Alonso arrived at Chelsea, he wasn't playing. Then he started to play and deserved to start every game.”
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho is having problems down his left hand side, as he reintroduces Luke Shaw to his starting eleven despite having reservations about the £34 million left back..
Shaw was criticised by Mourinho after United's 1-1 draw with Everton who said that he "had to make every decision" for his player.
Conte defended Mourinho's comments and said that he sometimes directs his players to the same degree.
“In a match, I like to speak a lot with all my players," Conte replied when asked to respond to Mourinho's situation with Shaw. "I try to give more information to all my players.
"But it's normal when you stay in one side you have, for example, Azpi and Moses or Pedro, close to the bench, it's normal to speak more with them.
"When, in the second half, it's Alonso and Cahill and Eden... But I want to speak with all my players and I usually try to arrive, also, with the players on the other side. I try. I hope to (make my point).”