Another loan deal for a player looking to find the spark in his career, this seems like a similar tale to Radamel Falcao’s time at Chelsea. The Blues have signed Alexandre Pato from Corinthians on loan till the end of this season and the 26-year-old could make his move permanent if things go right for him in London.
Considered to be one of the brightest talents to come from Brazil, he was signed by AC Milan in 2007 and was expected to turn the world upside down but after a few seasons, he suffered a range of injuries and his playing time was greatly reduced.
In the 2012-13 season he only played seven games for AC Milan and the Italian giants decided to cut their losses and sold him to Corinthians. His injury record though hasn’t hit him all that much and he has played a decent number of games since coming back.
Pato had scored 38 goals for current side Sao Paulo and he will hope to have an impact at Chelsea but fitting him into the side won’t be all that easy.
Two strikers the way forward for Chelsea?
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 30, 2016
The Blues have deployed just one striker all season and that has been Diego Costa. The Spaniard might not have scored a ton of goals this season but his form under Guus Hiddink has gotten better as he currently has scored six goals in six games, a good return considering how poorly he started the season under Jose Mourinho.
Pato, during his best years at AC Milan played as a supporting striker for the other big men at the club. He has great movement and the ability to link up and play with a more physical striker is the right way to go along with him. Costa is a proper centre-forward who does the dirty things well and that could be exploited by Pato but that would mean that Chelsea either revert to a team with one less midfielder or drop one of their attackers.
Pato could well play behind Costa and that would mean that Cesc Fabregas goes into a midfield pairing with Nemanja Matic. This would also mean that Oscar would find no place in the side and the pairing of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro would have to battle it out for the two win positions at Chelsea.
Conversely, Pato can also play on the wings; he would be a similar player to Hazard in terms of movement as he would be cutting in to have a pop at goal. Again it would be a tough call to see who goes out of the starting XI, Pedro and Hazard haven’t set the world alight this year so Pato and Willian would be the ideal options on either side of Costa.
This would be the last chance salon for Pato, a player who has all the ability but the injuries have cost him his chance of glory. Chelsea need attacking options and that is exactly what Pato provides, sure he might have been out of the European game for a couple of years but if he stays relatively injury free, he could well turn out to be the kind of player that turns Chelsea’s season around.