Alonso baulks at the idea he opened the door for others.
"Let's not go that far - there was Ivan Campo and Cesc before," he told the Daily Mail.
But it's evident that he led where players such as Mata and Silva have followed. Is he surprised by Silva's success?
"No. He is an incredible player who has shown he can adapt to the frenetic pace of the Premier League and yet can still add what we call the pause in the play," he explains.