Evaluating Alexandre Pato’s Chances Of Success At Chelsea FC

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - OCTOBER 31: Alexandre Pato of Sao Paulo in action during the match between Sao Paulo and Sport Recife for the Brazilian Series A 2015 at Morumbi stadium on October 31, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - OCTOBER 31: Alexandre Pato of Sao Paulo in action during the match between Sao Paulo and Sport Recife for the Brazilian Series A 2015 at Morumbi stadium on October 31, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images) /

In what was an extremely uncharacteristic winter transfer window for Chelsea, we had Alexandre Pato and Matt Miazga joining the ranks at Stamford Bridge (and Ramires going out).

It is obvious that Alexandre Pato and Matt Miazga are unlike any previous Chelsea winter buys, with neither of them being a big name (the former has been in hiding recently) nor coming in for a ridiculous amount of money. Furthermore, both of them are immediately slotting themselves into the first team, not being involved on any loan backs to the selling team. The duo quickly being allotted squad numbers only reaffirms the latter fact.

"Alexandre Pato will wear No.11 and Matt Miazga has taken the No.20 shirt. – Chelsea FC official site"

Alexandre Pato

Although there are the regular expectations from Pato as one would have with any new player (be it an arrival or an academy promotee), Pato also seems to have four other specific expectations weighing down upon him.

Will he rediscover his potential?

Ever since Pato’s transfer was confirmed, the one question that has crossed everyone’s mind is whether he will live up to his former potential from his early days at AC Milan. He seems to have overcome his injury problems in the last couple of years (touch wood!) and has even scored a decent number of goals. But, with due respect, that was in the Brazilian League. He is in the EPL now and in a team that has often and very unfairly been called the “graveyard of strikers”.

Related Story: Chelsea confirms arrival of Pato

Will he break the duck for South American strikers at Stamford Bridge?

In recent times, South American strikers have not had the best of times at Chelsea. We are currently witnessing (although I hope not) what seems to be the total collapse of Radamel Falcao’s game. He is now a pale shadow of his former self and has sadly turned into that one kid no-one in school wants to be seen with. His struggles to force a loan move in the recently concluded transfer window is proof of that. Although Hernan Crespo before him had a decent outing in terms of matches-to-goals scored ratio, he never really found his place at Chelsea, with a couple of loan spells and an eventual sale.

Will he break the duck for strikers at Stamford Bridge?

Many claim that there exists a “Curse of the No.9” at Chelsea. Although Pato isn’t going to be wearing the No. 9 jersey, he is still a striker. Except for Didier Drogba, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and now Diego Costa to an extent, strikers have not really flourished at Chelsea in the EPL era (makes us wonder, just for a moment, if the “graveyard of strikers” theory holds water). A few of them like Mark Stein and Hernan Crespo though have had decent goal returns, most of which, coincidentally, happened when they were not wearing the No. 9 Blue jersey. And the travails of Fernando Torres and Falcao need no mention.

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Will he live up to the No. 11 legacy?

We all know the importance of this jersey number to us Blues – after all, it was worn by the King himself, Didier Drogba.

Thus, in addition to the above-mentioned pressures, with the squad number allotment comes the biggest pressure of all. Will Pato prove himself even half worthy of wearing this hallowed number on his back?

While there are people on both sides of the fence, that is whether a six-month period is enough to decide on a player’s worth (the Falcao experiment says it is enough), Pato’s desire to disprove his detractors, his desire to prove himself on one of the biggest stages possible in club football and the fact that he won’t be wearing the No. 9 jersey will work in our favour. We hope

Who knows, maybe some of the mojo from wearing the No. 11 jersey will rub off on him and he might score a glut of goals to turnaround both his and the team’s fortunes. Overall, I’d say that if Pato even manages to score 11 goals for this half season, it would be a win-win for all parties involved and may even lead to his loan spell turning into a permanent contract.

Matt Miazga

His was an arrival that quite literally flew under the radar. No-one had heard of him, pretty much until the advanced stages of the transfer. His transfer has raised a few questions, including on his abilities and readiness to adapt to Chelsea and the grind of the EPL as well as the impact on the long pending saga of John Stones’ acquisition from Everton.

Related Story: Who The Hell Are You? Vol. 1: Matt Miazga

At Chelsea, he takes over the No. 20 jersey, which, in comparison to the No. 11 jersey, has a less chequered history. It was last worn by Deco (2009-10 season) and prior to that by one of our legends, Paulo Ferreira.

He is young at 20 years of age and apparently comes with Drogba’s recommendations. They say that it was Drogba who alerted our scouts to Miazga’s presence. Hopefully his youth and tutelage under John Terry (for however long) will enable him to make a smooth transition.

Next: Chelsea Predicted XI To Face Watford

Hopefully, these two arrivals should serve to boost our performances and ensure we salvage something from this season in the best way possible – ideally, with a trophy or two.