Eden Hazard's starting spot at Chelsea could be at threat from Alexandre Pato

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A deal is in place for Alexandre Pato to join Chelsea on loan with a view to a permanent deal in the summer, according to Sky Sports.

The on-loan Sao Paulo striker has made no secret of his desire to seal a move to the Premier League during the winter transfer window and is seemingly on the verge of getting his way, with parent club Corinthians having reportedly reached an agreement with the Blues.

But what will the Brazilian bring to Stamford Bridge, and how will his arrival affect the rest of the Chelsea squad?


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Pato could be a handy backup to first-choice striker Diego Costa, who has struck six goals in as many games since the arrival of interim boss Guus Hiddink.

The former AC Milan wonderkid has been in impressive form this season, with 15 goals in 33 league appearances.

Although primarily deployed as a left-sided forward under coach Edgardo Bauza, the 26-year-old can also play through the middle as a lone striker and would provide a welcome dose of versatility to an occasionally one-dimensional Chelsea side.

The Blues already have Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy in reserve up front, of course, but neither has capitalised on any game time afforded to them in Costa's absence.

The pair have managed just four goals between them in all competitions and coupled with Costa’s recent upturn in form, the arrival of Pato could spark an exit for one - if not both - of the Blues' strikers.

Eden Hazard could also be looking over his shoulder should the Brazilian complete a move to Stamford Bridge, given his proven ability to wreak havoc in wide positions.

The Belgian has struggled to reach the staggering heights he set last season, partially due to injuries and poor fitness.

Hazard has made just three assists and failed to score even once in all competitions this campaign, perhaps leaving the door open for new signings to challenge for his starting role.

Undefeated in seven matches, Chelsea have certainly improved since the arrival of Hiddink, but the Blues could still use an injection of fresh blood to boost their prospects of taking as many points as possible from the remaining 15 games.

Pato, meanwhile, has seemingly rediscovered the speed, technique and eye for goal that won so many admirers during his spell at the San Siro, and at 26-years-old, he still has the potential to do a job the highest level.

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Didier Drogba

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