Alonso had heart set on Bolton
Marcos Alonso claims his heart ruled his head after quitting Real Madrid and snubbing Benfica to join Bolton.
The 19-year-old left-back yesterday signed a three-year deal at the Reebok Stadium after sensing first-team opportunities at the Bernabeu were limited. Portuguese giants Benfica are believed to have been one of several clubs interested in acquiring his services but Alonso is confident he has made the right choice.
Alonso said: "I talked to the coach and my feelings about Bolton were very good. I think it is a very good Premier League team in the best league in the world. I think I will be very happy here.
"I didn't know too much about Bolton but I knew other Spanish players were here. I didn't talk to them but I heard good things about Bolton. I had other options but sometimes your heart rules your head and I decided to come here."
Alonso has good footballing pedigree with his grandfather having played for Real Madrid and his father representing Barcelona. He himself made just one first-team appearance at Real in a 2-0 victory over Racing Santander in April.
He is Bolton's third summer signing after the arrivals of Martin Petrov and Robbie Blake. Manager Owen Coyle believes he has pulled off a coup to land the youngster. Coyle said: "He has that drive and enthusiasm and no end of talent. The whole thing was pleasurable at every moment. His agents, his family were as good as their word.
"When a club the stature of Benfica comes along it's obviously going to turn your head. But all throughout they gave me the commitment Marcos wanted to come to Bolton. It's a terrific piece of business to pull this off. Marcos is 19 and has already been involved at a very high level.
Alonso is not match-fit due to a recent ankle injury but is confident of being ready for the start of the season. Bolton begin their campaign with a home clash against Fulham on 14 August.
But Coyle added: "He ticks every box I look for in bringing a young player to this club. It was a serious injury with his ankle and we have got to make sure he's in tip-top condition. I won't rush him or force him to comeback before he is ready physically and mentally."