Saturday, January 30, 2016 2:49 pm
Guus Hiddink has revealed his desire to see latest arrival at Stamford Bridge, Alexandre Pato, in action for Chelsea.
Hiddink told Chelsea’s website on Saturday what he wants from Pato with the Brazilian having finalised his loan move to Stamford Bridge.
The manager is welcoming the 26-year old attacker from Corinthians into his squad, Pato returning to Europe having spent a number of years at AC Milan earlier in his career.
“He was used to playing as a striker in Milan when he accomplished his promise in certain periods,” said Hiddink.
“We want him to play as a striker as well, maybe with a slightly different style, and second or third to Diego Costa who is of huge importance to us. Recently he has played a little bit more in the advanced midfield position as a number 10 or on the left or the right.
“We will measure his physical fitness. It also depends on his body and whether he gets in shape quickly or not. He can be an athletic player; he doesn’t need weeks and weeks to lose the kilos. We will test him physically then put him in training sessions and we can rapidly see when he will be available.
“I haven’t watched him live but I have watched him in several video clips. I am curious to see him on the pitch.”
Hiddink is aware of the challenge Pato faces to prove himself in this country but he says the attacker should be praised for opting to choose Chelsea, and England’s top flight, as his next destination.
“If he didn’t have a lot of desire then I don’t think he would have made this step to the Premier League,” said Hiddink.
“He could have been a little easy and say life goes on, but making this step gives him the first benefit after some doubts that occurred in the previous years.
“He could have been playing in Brazil which, with all respect to the Brazilian league, is a little bit different to the Premier League. There is a little bit more space in Brazil whereas here there is a higher tempo, less space, less time and that’s why you must respect his decision to come on loan.
“He made good appearances in Milan but you wonder always why he didn’t then make the second step. That’s why it’s good to have him here in the condition we do, so we can see. I will help him to try and make the next step but it’s up to him.
“I want to underline that it’s good to have him on loan, to say we would like you to play where we think you can be of high value.”
Pato, whose full name is Alexandre Rodrigues da Silva, is a versatile forward player with an excellent touch and impressive turn of pace.
Pato said when he arrived Chelsea on Friday: “I am so happy to sign for Chelsea. It is a dream 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.’
Emerging as one of world football’s hottest properties while at International in his native Brazil, Pato earned a move to then-European champions AC Milan in the summer of 2007.
He flourished in his first season in Serie A under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti and continued to impress with his vision, movement, and clinical finishing, netting 14 goals in the Rossoneri’s title-winning campaign of 2010/11.
Pato left Milan in January 2013 having scored 63 goals in 150 appearances. He returned to Brazil to play for Corinthians and subsequently enjoyed a successful loan spell at their city rivals Sao Paulo before becoming a Chelsea player.
Pato has made 27 appearances for his national team, scoring 10 goals, and represented his country at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.