The curious case of Alexandre Pato’s loan move to Chelsea is now becoming a saga. The football community has simply been baffled by a transfer that seems so pointless that rumours have been circulating that the Blues will cut the loan short.
Chelsea supporters must be scratching their heads over why the club has swooped for a striker they’re not even going to play. It’s not exactly as if they’re saving him for the future because his contract is over in less than two months.
As the weeks go on, it’s becoming more and more perplexing. The Brazilian returned to Europe to seemingly revive his career but some are even viewing him as now being a financial leech simply soaking up the sights of west London.
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Lack of game time
Since sealing his loan move on January 26, Pato has contributed zero goals and zero assists. However, this isn’t of the striker’s own admission as he hasn’t been handed a single second of game time in a Chelsea jersey.
In fact, Guus Hiddink’s cautiousness with the Brazilian has seen his absence from any first team football stretch back to November. Despite a brief stint of selections on the bench, Pato has once again slipped out of the squad and the wait for his debut goes on and on.
Admittedly, his lack of match fitness makes rushing Pato into a return risky but why would the Blues sign him in the first place if knew this process would take two months?
The 26-year-old has had his chance of a European reappraisal dragged through the mud thus far and given Diego Costa and Bertrand Traore’s recent form; it seems set to rumble on. Albeit the form of his peers though, Pato deserves at least the privilege of sporting the Chelsea shirt on the pitch.
It appears Loic Remy remains the club’s third choice striker, which is surprising considering the Frenchman’s whimsical goal tally of three this season. At least trying Pato ahead of the ex-QPR man seems logical but Hiddink seems reluctant to promote the Brazilian still.
What makes the move all the more baffling is the money involved. Although £30,000-a-week might be considered reasonably low in today’s footballing economy, this fee is astronomical when you consider the Brazilian’s non-existent game time.
Football receives a fierce reception regarding money as it is and it’s no wonder when you look at the currency collated by Pato despite being yet to make his debut. In addition, Chelsea are paying all of his wages, yet the Blues’ actions indicate little enthusiasm towards reaping reward from this investment.
The situation is certainly odd and in being yet to hand Pato a single minute on the pitch, the point of his January capture must be questioned. Even if Chelsea do go on to hand him his debut in coming games, they will have conceded £250,000 to him in the meantime.
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