English Premiership

Hiddink upbeat over Pato loan deal

2016-01-30 06:57
Guus Hiddink (AFP)

Cobham - Chelsea on Friday completed the loan signing of Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato from Corinthians until the end of the season, the London giants announced.

Pato, 26, will add to Guus Hiddink's attacking options at Stamford Bridge with Diego Costa currently shouldering responsibility for providing the side's goal-threat now that both Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao are injured.

"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," said Pato.

"I thank Chelsea for their support and hope I can repay this faith to the club and the fans."

Pato began his career at Internacional in Brazil before moving to AC Milan in 2007.

In his first season in Serie A, under the guidance of former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, he scored 14 goals in Milan's title-winning campaign of 2010/11.

Pato left the San Siro in 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 moving to Chelsea.

Pato has won 27 caps for Brazil, scoring 10 goals, and represented his country at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Hiddink backed Pato to be a hit in the Premier League.

"It's not a gamble," said the Dutch boss. "Coming on loan makes it possible to have a good view of him, 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 those players, with all respect to him, who must take the next step then it's more of a risk," the Dutchman added.

"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."

But Hiddink said there would be a period of adjustment.

"He has to settle. We'll give him the time to settle and get used to a very demanding league. Pato was a promising youngster, and also a very stylish player. Then he had a few years in Milan.

"After that, he didn't make a big step in Europe but went back to Brazil. Now he has another chance to make a big step in Europe, a brave step into England, and we'll help him to get fit."

Remy's future at Chelsea has been questioned, with the striker linked with a move to former club Newcastle United.

Hiddink confirmed the forward will miss Sunday's FA Cup fourth round tie at Milton Keynes with a calf injury and said: "He's injured for the moment, a slight injury on his calf. We'll see what happens in the upcoming days."

But the interim manager insisted, though, that Gary Cahill will not be leaving the club despite recent reports suggesting the player was concerned about his chances of making England's Euro 2016 squad after falling out of the Chelsea first team.

"I spoke to him a few days ago about the situation, which I like to do always with my key players, and he's one of them," said Hiddink.

"He's not to be considered second choice. He's of big importance and will be, with the multitude of games coming up.

"He was very open and very clear, that he loves to stay in this club."


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