Every transfer window Alexandre Pato, or as he’s known ‘The duck’, has been linked with a move to the Premier League. Ever since his rise at AC Milan, teams like Arsenal, Liverpool and more have been linked with the Brazilian, who had so much potential.
Yet when Chelsea announced singing the striker on loan on the 29th January, there was a lot of scepticism about whether the player could really make it in England. Since his Milan days he had gone back to Brazil, going under the radar for both club and country. His glory days look to be gone, yet Chelsea have still taken the risk, making you question whether they can be the club to bring him back to the top.
Pato had looked destined to be a success at Milan, being a regular in the team during 2007/08, scoring important goals for the club. In his first season, he scored nine in 18 games, and in his next 15 goals in 36 games. Pato was welcomed into the Milan family by the Brazilian contingent already there – players like Ronaldinho, Cafu, Dida and more – staking his claim in the first team. In 2009 Pato was scoring in the Champions League, against Real Madrid, on his way to winning the the 2009 Serie A Young Player of the Year award: the first Brazilian to get the title.
However, injury started creeping in, and he missed crucial games. When he did return, the hamstring problems never really disappeared, limiting the amount of appearances he could make.
Pato had hoped that the start of the 2011 season would lead to change, and it certainly looked that way with two goals against Lecce. Yet after two matches he was on the treatment table again out for the next three games. Then when he did come back, he started scoring again, until his hamstring problems came back, ruling him out for six weeks.
The end of the 2011 season and the 2012 season saw Pato drift in and out of the team, and although he was scoring goals, injuries took their toll upon the player (recurring theme, here). It saw him then move onto Corinthians in January 2013, for £12.2m, but it still didn’t go as smoothly as he had hoped. He only scored nine league goals in 30 games, and the fans started to turn against the Selecao man when he started missing open goals, including on the 24th October 2013 in the Copa do Brasil where his poor chipped penalty against Gremio was saved and they were knocked out.
Pato was then loaned to Sao Paulo in February 2014 i a deal that eventually ran for two seasons. Pato again was nowhere near his best, as he was at Milan, and in his 95 games for Sao Paulo he got 38 goals. Only nine of these were in the league last season, illustrating just how far this star has fallen.
Chelsea will be hoping that Pato will be more like Didier Drogba was at Chelsea and how Diego Costa has been, scoring goals. They won’t want him to follow their other strikers like Radamel Falcao, Fernando Torres or Demba Ba, whom were also signed in January. Fans will be wanting this striker to bang in the goals, with Chelsea in need of a marksman to take the burden off Costa. However, you have to feel, considering his recent form, Pato may struggle to hit the heights he did at Milan. The jury will still be out until the end of the season, only then will a better judgement be made.