Perhaps the most random transfer rumour ever has hit headlines recently, with former Brazilian wonderkid Alexandre Pato being linked with a move to the Premier League. Still only 25 years old, the once feared striker was been highly regarded as a teenager, convincing Italian titans AC Milan to bring him to Europe. A promising career has been chucked away like yesterday’s papers though through a series of injuries, and Premier League clubs should stay well away.
He arrived in Milan with the world at his feet, greatness had been prophesied for the young Selecao international. Making his Rossoneri debut alongside compatriot Ronaldo, the young attacker dazzled defenders in Serie A with his electric pace and quick feet. Unable to make his debut for the club until January 2007 in compliance with FIFA regulations, Pato had been worth the wait. He plundered eight more goals for the San Siro side that season after his excellent debut strike against Napoli.
A star had been born it seemed. The following season, his first full campaign in European football, the young hit-man netted an impressive 18 times in all competitions. The Milan number 7 was proving to be one of the most exciting prospects in world football.
However, over the past few years he has been ravaged by injuries. Since 2010, when he was crowned Serie A young player of the year, muscle and hamstring problems have severely hampered his development. An excellent player on his day, his goal against Barcelona in the Champions League in 2012 showed what he was all about.
51 goals in 107 Serie A games is an impressive haul, 10 goals in 27 games for Brazil is even better. Crystal Palace and West Ham are the two teams linked with a move, but his record is not all they should take into account.
Hard-nosed AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi shipped the struggling starlet back to his homeland in a gargantuan move for a Brazilian side. Corinthians paid through the nose to bring the best out of Pato, but the move has not worked out, and he has now been on loan at Sao Paulo for the best part of two years. Earlier this summer Corinthians chief Roberto De Andrade admitted to ‘praying day and night’ to sell him and that he ‘regretted’ the move completely.
Pato’s demise is not your typical wonderkid-gone-wrong tale. A huge ego and a lack of interest doesn’t appear to be the case here, he has simply rather tragically been ruined by injuries. A move to the Premier League would be the worst thing he could possibly pursue. The lighting speed of the English game would not work with his dodgy hamstrings, and the robust style is not likely to be kind to his chronic muscle problems. His turn of pace, while devastating, was largely what he based his entire game around. He does not possess the footballing intelligence to act as a skilful number 10, his speed was his asset.
Any deal to bring the former Brazilian international to the Premier League is likely to be expensive. Despite his injuries, he is bound to command ridiculously high wages for any ‘mid-level’ Premier League side for which he has been linked. Pato should stay in Brazil. This blast from past should be ignored.