Alexandre Pato has completed his loan transfer to Chelsea, and immediately described the move as a dream come true for him.
The Brazil international had been linked with a move for the Blues for much of the January transfer window, and a temporary deal was struck with Corinthians earlier this week. Pato then passed his medical with the Stamford Bridge club, who announced the formalities of the transfer had been completed as they look to add more attacking threat to their squad.
Speaking to the official club website after securing the loan transfer, the 26-year-old former Milan forward said: “I am so happy to sign for Chelsea. It is a dream come true for me. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know my new team-mates and cannot wait to play. I thank Chelsea for their support and hope I can repay this faith to the club and its fans.”
Pato was born in southwest Brazil in September 1989, and developed through the youth system at Internacional. After 12 goals in 27 appearances he left his homeland for the Rossoneri in 2007, and he soon established a reputation as one of the best young talents in Europe. But despite scoring 63 goals in 150 matches, he was blighted with injury during the his last couple of years in Italy.
He then returned to Brazil when Corinthians paid £12.5million for his signature in January 2013, but a little more than 12 months later he was sent on loan to Sao Paolo where he would spend two years. Upon his return to the Arena Corinthians it became clear his future lay elsewhere, and he snubbed a move to Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian to instead head to England and Chelsea.
Much has been made of Pato’s injury problems of the past, but the forward played 95 matches in all competitions during his two years on loan at Sao Paolo. But Stamford Bridge interim head coach Guus Hiddink said: “It’s not a gamble. Coming on loan makes it possible for us to have a good view of him, and see whether he’s able to adapt to the high demands of the club and the league.
“We’ll give him all the support in this, but it’s up to him. If you buy a player, with all respect to him, who must prove he can make that next step then it’s more of a risk. Taking him on loan is good for everyone: to see whether he’s happy at this club, and if the club are happy with him. It will take him a while. He cannot yet be fully fit because Corinthians were only in preparations.”
Whilst Chelsea welcome one Brazil international to their squad – Pato won the last of his 27 caps in 2013 – they have bid farewell to another. Ramires, who has represented his country on 52 occasions, completed a £25million move to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning earlier this week, a deal which marks a good return on the £17million the Blues paid Benfica for him in 2010.