Should Chelsea Offer A Permanent Contract To This South American In The Summer?

Alexander Pato is currently playing on loan at Chelsea from Corinthians. He started off his career at the age of 16 with Brazilian side Internacional in 2006. He shined in his very first season and went on to score 12 goals in 27 appearances for the club. The very next season Italian powerhouses AC Milan came calling and he took the transfer. However due to regulations regarding non-EU minors, he had to wait till January 2008 to play any official matches for Milan. Pato scored for Milan in his non-competitive debut and also scored his first competitive debut in the Serie A. He finished his first season with 9 goals from 20 appearances. He had a brilliant second season with Milan and finished with 18 goals thereby being their top goal scorer. He was instrumental in his 3rd season as well and was awarded the Seria A Young Footballer of the Year award. Following that he had an injury-marred 2 seasons and finally transferred back to his home country with Corinthians signing him for 15 million Euros.

At Corinthians, he has had a mixed fortune. While he scored on his debut for them, he has also been seen missing open goals and important penalties. He did score 9 goals in his first season in 30 appearances’ but was still not a fan favourite with large sections of the fan base booing him on numerous occasions. He was defended all the time by then Corinthians coach Adenor Bachhi. But with a change of coach at the end of the 2013 season, Pato found himself being loaned out to fellow Brazilian team Sao Paulo. He did shine for Sao Paulo and scored in his second game for them. He also scored on his Brazilian Cup debut for them. He scored 19 goals in 59 appearances for Sao Paulo. With any transfer offers after his loan ended, Pato had to return to Corinthians. He had offers from China but expressed his interest to move back to Europe. His agent suggested that he could join Chelsea in the 2016 January window and on 26th January he flew to London to have a medical  with the EPL side. After 3 days it was announced that Chelsea had signed him on a loan till the end of the season.

He was injured for a significant period and time and was finally included in the Chelsea squad in on March 1st for the match against Norwich City. He was an unused substitute in this match. He did not make any appearances for another month and finally came on as a substitute for Loic Remy against Aston Villa on 2nd April. He earned a penalty in the same game and converted it thereby scoring on hoist debut again. And that’s about it. That’s all he has done for Chelsea since arriving in late January. Now the question comes whether Chelsea should sign up him up permanently at the end of his loan. Well, honestly having known his past it would be a foolish decision to sign him up, the main reason being his fitness. He has a great love story with injuries. So much so that he spent more time at the Milan hospital than at the training ground for his final 2 seasons with the Italian side.

He did suffer fewer injuries back at Brazil but the European game is far more physically demanding than the Brazil one. To make things worse, he started his Chelsea career with an injury and was fit to be included in the squad more than a month after he signed. The English game is one of the most demanding games in the world and Pato would surely not survive in it. Chelsea already have a case of another injury prone striker in Diego Costa. There is no way they would be looking to add one more there on a permanent basis. Pato’s hamstring muscle is always a case of speculation and it is going to be very dangerous if Chelsea ignores that and sign him up.

Also with just one performance under his belt, it is quite early to say that he might get any better with the remaining 7 matches of the league. If he gets a start in all the 7 games and if he manages to impress, then there might be a slight chance that Chelsea might offer him a permanent deal. As of now, I personally think Chelsea shouldn’t sign him in the summer.

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Written by Subrata Roy

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