Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has revealed that Alexandre Pato is still struggling to gain back his match fitness following his arrival last month, Express reports.
The 26-year-old is currently on loan from Brazilian giants Corinthians for the remainder of the campaign and could even be given a permanent deal depending on his performance.
He is yet to make his debut for the Blues as he is still undergoing intensive training into order to be match fit ahead of the clash with Norwich City later today.
However, Hiddink has revealed that Pato is not ready to feature the full 90 minutes as he is expected to give emerging star Bertrand Traore as well as Loic Remy more opportunities to impress.
“Diego Costa is the No 1. The others have stepped up, and I’m especially happy with the progress of Traore. Although he’s a young guy and the others might have more status I’m not just looking at that – I’m looking to the young guys making progress. He and Loic Remy are in position to compete,” he said.
“Pato is not ready for 90 minutes, but now he is coming to the stage where he is able to play part of the game. Once more though I underline that we consider also the chances for the young guys.”
With more options in attack, the Dutch manager now believes that his forwards will have to step up their game in order to impress as the club look to register their third consecutive Premier League win.
He spent the previous campaign on loan at Sao Paulo, featuring 59 times in all competitions while managing to score a total of 26 goals.