Player Profile - Alexandre Pato

Pato Seals ‘Dream’ Move To The Blues

Personal information
Full name: Alexandre Rodrigues da Silva
Date of birth: 2 September 1989 
Age: 26
Place of birth: Pato Branco, Brazil
Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) 
Playing position: Forward

Club information
Current team: Southampton
Number: 28

Youth career
2000–2006: Internacional

Senior career
2006–2007: Internacional 27 Appearances, 12 goals
2007–2012: Milan 150 Appearances, 63 goals 
2013–2016: Corinthians 62 Appearances, 17 goals 
2014–2015→ Sao Paulo (loan) 95 Appearances, 38 goals 
2015-2016→ Chelsea (loan) 0 Appearances, 0 goals

National career
2007 Brazil U20 12 Appearances, 6 goals 
2008–2012 Brazil U23 9 Appearances, 6 goals 
2008– Brazil 27 Appearances, 10 goals 

After going back and forth regarding finances and contract terms, Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato completed his medical at Chelsea, paving the way for a six-month loan move. The Blues have agreed terms with the 26-year-old, with an option to make the move permanent in the summer transfer window. He arrived at Heathrow airport last Wednesday afternoon and completed his medical at the club later that day. Pato's current club Corinthians had reportedly stated they wanted the forward to move on and they now have their wish. Pato said it is a "dream" to have completed a move to Stamford Bridge but was reluctant to put a date on when he will be available, choosing instead to focus on building a relationship with his new team-mates. "I'm so happy," he said. "It is my dream to play here. Chelsea is my new home and I thank Chelsea for their support and thank you to my fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for following me. "I need to play. I don't know what else to say because I am just so happy to be here. I want to get to know my new team-mates and the players here and I really want to play for Chelsea." 

A quick, agile, and creative forward, with excellent technical ability, and an eye for goal, Pato was considered to be one of the world's most promising young footballing stars in his youth; his former managers Carlos Dunga and Carlo Ancelotti even likened his ability to that of other legendary Brazilian attacking players, such as Careca, Kaka, Romario, and Ronaldo. A versatile forward, he is capable of playing anywhere along the front line; despite being right footed, he can strike the ball well and powerfully with both feet, beat opponents when dribbling, and create chances for team-mates. He is also effective in the air and accurate with his head, despite not being particularly tall or physically imposing. In 2010, Don Balon listed him as one of the 100 most talented young players born after 1989. Pato signed for AC Milan in 2007 from Internacional , where the centre-forward proved to be a prolific goalscorer - netting 63 times in 150 appearances for AC Milan as well as 27 caps and 10 goals for his country, but he has not made a Brazil squad since 2013. As his career progressed with Milan, however, he suffered numerous recurring injuries, which affected his pace, fitness, consistency, and mobility, and limited his amount of playing time at a young age; as a result, he is regarded by some in the media to have failed to live up to his initial potential.

Pato returned to Brazil with Corinthians in January 2013. He never settled into the Corinthians team and a string of bad performances led to the fans, staff and even players turning on the 26-year-old. The striker is undeniably gifted however, and made a conscious effort to become more physical last season - it worked. The striker netted 26 goals for Sao Paulo and has put himself back on the radar of many European teams. Pato has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs this transfer window, with Corinthians looking to offload the player who has not lived up to their fans' expectations. Earlier this month, Pato was linked with a move to the Chinese Super League but turned it down in order to pursue a return to Europe. And now the Brazilian forward hoping his form convinces the Premier League club to make the move permanent in the summer. His loan contract includes a release clause in case Chelsea want to sign Pato on a permanent basis. The Brazilians parent club Corinthians will also extend his contract for another year. His current deal ends by the end of the current year, and Corinthians don't want to risk losing the player on a free transfer. 

The striker, who boasts 27 caps and enjoyed a productive six-year spell with Milan earlier in his career, has not played a competitive game since November when he returned from a two-season loan stint with Sao Paulo. However, Having seen his performances in Brazil through the last season, it's hard not to be sceptical about his chances of making it in England, but maybe he can step up to the challenge and prove everyone wrong.